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JWk-f  ore  <S0oetD 

Vy J\  I    ^>  <^_x  O 























9xtblishtb  for  tht 
DAVID   NUTT,    57-59   LONG  ACRE 




AT  the  meeting  of  the  British  Association  at  Toronto  in 
1897,  a  paper  on  the  folklore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians 
was  received  from  Miss  Owen,  the  author  of  the  following 
pages,  who  unfortunately  was  herself  unable  to  be  present. 
After  the  meeting  was  over,  the  paper  in  question  was, 
with  some  others,  forwarded  by  the  recorder  of  Section 
H  (Anthropology)  to  me,  for  examination  with  a  view  to 
publication  by  the  Folk-lore  Society.  It  was  read  at  a 
meeting  of  the  Society  in  the  course  of  the  following 
winter.  But,  while  in  some  respects  a  valuable  contri 
bution  to  our  knowledge  of  the  tribe,  it  was  short,  and 
lacked  the  details  desirable  in  a  scientific  account  of  the 
tribe.  The  writer  was  known  to  be  intimately  acquainted 
with  the  Musquakies,  and  it  was  obvious  that  the  paper 
contained  only  a  small  part  of  the  information  she,  and 
probably  she  only,  could  give.  The  Council  of  the  Society 
therefore  requested  me  to  invite  her  to  expand  it.  Accord 
ingly  I  wrote  to  her.  The  result  of  the  correspondence 
was  that  she  not  only  acceded  to  the  wish  of  the  Council, 
but  also  with  rare  generosity  offered  to  present  to  the 
Society  her  collection  of  Musquakie  beadwork  and  cere 
monial  implements.  This  collection  had  been  slowly 
accumulated  during  many  years  of  direct  personal  inter 
course  with  members  of  the  tribe.  The  objects  it  con 
tained  were  genuine  products  of  native  industry,  and 
implements  actually  used  in  the  religious  ceremonies  of 

vi  Preface. 

the  tribe.  Many  of  them,  indeed,  had  grown  obsolete  in 
the  gradual  abandonment  of  the  indigenous  customs  and 
civilization ;  and  they  were  consequently  impossible  now 
to  obtain.  The  gift,  therefore,  was  one  of  special,  if  not 
unique,  importance.  The  Council  gratefully  accepted  an 
offer  so  generous,  only  asking  that  Miss  Owen  would  add 
a  formal  Catalogue,  to  which  her  promised  monograph 
on  the  tribe  might  be  prefixed  by  way  of  introduction 
and  further  explanation. 

The  Collection  reached  the  Society  in  the  Spring  of 
1901.  It  was  exhibited  at  a  Joint  Meeting  of  the  Folk 
lore  Society  and  the  Anthropological  Institute  held  at 
the  rooms  of  the  latter  on  the  iQth  June  of  that  year;  and 
it  was  then  placed  in  the  University  Museum  of  Archae 
ology  and  Ethnology  at  Cambridge. 

The  Monograph  and  Catalogue  now  before  the  reader 
complete  the  gift  and  ensure  its  permanent  utility.  The 
anthropological  student  with  this  book  in  hand  will  need 
no  other  reminder  of  the  value  of  the  collection  for  the 
history  of  culture.  Under  the  name  of  Sacs  and  Foxes 
the  Musquakies  have  played  a  part  by  no  means  con 
temptible  in  the  struggle  against  the  white  race  and  its 
civilization.  They  have  been  beaten  ;  and  they  are  now 
a  dying  people.  Their  blood  may  be  mingled  with  that 
of  their  conquerors,  and  thus  their  life  may  in  some 
measure  be  perpetuated.  But  their  ancient  beliefs  and 
institutions  are  passing  away  for  ever.  We  cannot  recover 
their  details  uncontaminated  by  European  ideas.  Miss 
Owen's  account,  however,  is  hardly  the  less  valuable  for 
that.  It  exhibits  them  as  they  were  at  the  close  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  and  comprises  the  more  important 
traditions  then  preserved  of  their  mythology  and  previous 
history.  Together  with  the  collection,  it  affords  us  a 
glimpse  of  the  effect  on  the  Musquakies  of  what  Miss 
Kingsley  called  in  an  expressive  phrase  "  the  clash  of 
cultures."  The  introductory  paragraph  of  the  Catalogue 

Preface.  vii 

describes  the  situation  better  than  any  words  of  mine 
could  do  so.  It  should  be  read  and  read  again  by  all 
who  desire  to  understand  how  archaic  objects  and  archaic 
ceremonies  and  sayings  survive  among  civilized  and  bar 
barous  peoples  alike ;  for  it  enshrines  the  very  secret  of 

Formal  votes  of  thanks,  such  as  have  been  passed  by 
the  Society,  express  but  a  small  part  of  the  sense  of 
indebtedness  which  all  students  will  feel  towards  Miss 
Owen  for  thus  placing  her  collection  and  her  unrivalled 
knowledge  of  the  Musquakies  at  the  service  of  science. 
In  the  Cambridge  University  Museum  of  Archaeology 
and  Ethnology  the  objects  will  always  be  accessible  for 
study.  It  is  the  earnest  wish  of  the  Society,  as  well  as 
of  the  donor,  that  in  this  way  the  purpose  of  the  gift 
may  be  fulfilled. 

At  the  suggestion  of  Dr.  Haddon,  Miss  A.  Kingston 
made  a  large  number  of  coloured  copies  of  the  bead-work 
patterns  and  forwarded  them  to  Miss  Owen,  in  order  that 
the  latter  might  endeavour  to  obtain  further  informa 
tion,  from  the  Musquakies  concerning  them.  This  Miss 
Owen  was  kind  enough  to  do,  making  a  special  journey 
from  her  home,  St.  Joseph,  Missouri,  for  the  purpose ; 
and  much  fresh  and  most  valuable  information  was  forth 
coming,  which  would  never  have  been  recovered  had  it 
not  been  for  the  trouble  taken  by  Miss  Kingston  in 
making  the  drawings.  The  Society  is  indebted  to  Dr. 
Haddon  not  only  for  the  original  suggestion  which  elicited 
this  additional  information,  but  also  for  preparing,  with 
Miss  Kingston's  assistance,  the  technical  description  of 
the  objects  figured. 



GLOUCESTER,  %th  August,  1904. 




I.  MYTHICAL  ORIGIN,       -  i 



IV.  GOVERNMENT,       -                                        ...  25 
V.  BELIEFS,  35 

VI.  DANCES,  41 

Religion  Dance  —  Corn  -  Planting  Dance  —  Totem 
Dances — Green  Corn  Dance — The  Woman  Dance 
(I-coo-coo-ah) — Bear  Dance — Buffalo  Dance — Dis 
covery  Dance — Young  Dogs'  Dance — Horses'  Dance 
— Scalp  Dance — Dead  Man's  Medicine  Dance — The 
Young  Servants'  Dance — Birds'  Dance — Presents 



IX.  COURTSHIP  AND  MARRIAGE,  -        -        72 


XI.  FOLK  TALES,  ...        87 

Girls  and  Bear — The  Grey  Wolf  and  the  Orphan 
Boy— The  Woman  and  the  Tree-Ghost— The  Man 
and  the  Tree- Ghost— The  Man  and  the  Young 
Girl— The  Duck- Woman— The  Woodpecker- Man— 
Prairie-Chicken  Woman— The  Awl— The  Girl-with- 
Spots-on-her-Face— The  Young  Man  that  killed  him 
self  and  was  made  alive  again. 









THE  Musquakies,  as  they  call  themselves,  Outagamies  or 
Foxes  as  they  are  known  to  the  whites  and  to  the  other 
Indian  tribes  within  and  without  the  great  Algonquin 
family  to  which  they  belong,  say  that  they  are  descended 
from  a  woman  whom  they  call  He-nau-ee  (Mother).  This 
He-nau-ee  came  down  from  the  Upper  World  in  a  storm, 
the  like  of  which  has  not  been  before  or  since,  the  sky 
and  the  sea  struck  each  other,  and  rocks  were  ground 
into  sand.  When  He-nau-ee  fell  into  the  water  on  her 
back  the  storm  ceased,  an  island,  "green  [or  blue  —  one 
word  serves  for  the  two  colours]  and  fertile,  with  berries 
ready  ripened  for  her  use,  and  trees  with  acorns  to  make 
her  bread,  and  sweet  white  roots  easy  to  dig,"  rose  up 
under  her.  On  it,  she  told  her  children,  she  lived  for 
eighty  days.  On  the  eightieth  day  she  gave  birth  to 
two  sons,  who  grew  to  manhood  in  a  few  hours,  received 
some  instruction  from  their  mother,  built  a  boat,  and  at 
sundown  paddled  over  to  the  mainland,  leaving  her 
behind,  because  "she,  the  pleasant  of  speech  and  beauti 
ful  of  face,  looked  from  her  eyes  so  terribly  that  they, 
the  unfearing,  sweated  with  fear."  When  they  touched 
shore,  they  turned  to  see  if  she  by  magic  was  able  to 

2  Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

follow,  and  saw  her  instead  sinking  with  her  island 
beneath  the  waves. 

The  Brothers  ran  a  little  way.  When  they  stopped, 
the  larger,  Hot  Hand,  said  to  the  smaller,  Cold  Hand : 
"  I  smell  something  I  do  not  like ;  let  us  stop  and  fight 
with  it."  Cold  Hand  said  :  "  Let  us  stop  and  fight  with 
it."  Then  each  tore  up  a  young  tree,  for  many  trees 
grew  on  top  of  rocks  in  that  place,  stripped  it  of 
branches,  smoothed  and  shaped  it  with  the  finger-nails, 
split  the  end  with  the  eye  [I  don't  know  what  this  means, 
nobody  would  explain],  fitted-in  stone  torn  by  the  hand 
and  bitten  by  the  teeth,  and  made  fast  by  the  hair 
from  his  scalp-lock.  The  hair  was  not  enough,  so  they 
felt  poor  in  mind  till  a  deer  came,  saying,  "  I  give  you," 
and  gave  them  sinew  from  his  leg.  With  the  sinew  the 
stone  was  made  fast,  a  good  spear  was  made,  for  not 
yet  had  the  old  women  come  to  teach  the  Brothers  to 
make  bows. 

The  black  thing  was  coming ;  they  smelled  him.  Cold 
Hand  said  :  "  Shall  I  go  ?  "  Hot  Hand  said  :  "  The  stink 
ing  meat  is  for  me  to  take."  He  spat  on  his  spear.  It 
was  sharp  ;  it  took  the  Black  Wolf  coming,  in  the  throat, 
in  the  breast,  in  the  belly.  Black  Wolf  could  not  make 
medicine;  he  was  very  sick.  He  said:  "Take  the  skin." 
Hot  Hand  took  the  fine  black  skin.  Naked,  Black  Wolf 
ran  away.  Hot  Hand  hung  the  skin  on  a  tree,  he  had 
no  wife  to  throw  it  to.  Black  Wolf,  far  ofT,  danced  and 
sang  his  song ;  the  medicine  cured  him.  At  night  he 
stole  the  skin. 

The  Brothers  went  on  with  a  bad  heart;  they  wanted 
the  skin.  After  a  while  Cold  Hand  said :  "  I  smell  some 
thing  I  do  not  like ;  let  us  stop  and  fight  with  it."  Hot 
Hand  said :  "  Let  us  stop  and  fight  with  it."  Cold  Hand 
spat  on  his  spear ;  it  was  sharp  ;  it  took  Black  Wolf 
coming,  in  the  throat,  in  the  breast,  in  the  belly.  Black 
Wolf  was  very  sick.  He  said :  "  Take  the  skin."  Cold 

Mythical  Origin.  3 

Hand  hung  the  skin  on  his  spear.  Black  Wolf  ran 
away ;  he  danced,  he  sang  his  song  ;  the  medicine  cured 
him.  The  Brothers  slept;  he  tried  to  steal  the  skin. 
The  spear  said :  "  Come  up  !  come  up  ! "  Cold  Hand 
waked.  Black  Wolf  ran  away  ;  he  was  very  cold. 

Hot  Hand  said :  "  Give  me  the  black  skin.  I  took  it." 
Cold  Hand  gave  it.  They  went  on.  Hot  Hand  made 
the  skin  into  a  bundle;  he  tied  it  with  grass,  and  with 
grass  bound  it  upon  his  back.  They  crossed  a  river. 
Black  Wolf  was  there  ;  his  medicine  made  the  water 
black ;  he  hid  in  it,  he  followed  the  brothers,  he  cut  the 
grass  ropes,  he  stole  the  skin,  he  made  himself  small,  as 
fish-spawn  he  went  down  the  river.  Hot  Hand  was  on 
the  bank ;  he  felt  his  back,  he  was  ashamed  that  the 
skin  was  gone.  He  went  on,  not  talking.  When  it  was 
night  he  put  himself  to  dream  ;  he  dreamed  of  the  lake 
into  which  the  river  flowed  ;  he  saw  Black  Wolf  in  the 
lake.  He  waked  ;  he  went  on  with  his  brother.  They 
went  to  the  lake.  Hot  Hand  fought  with  Black  Wolf; 
he  was  at  the  water's  edge ;  he  had  no  time  to  make 
medicine,  to  change.  Hot  Hand  took  him  in  the  throat, 
in  the  breast,  in  the  belly.  Black  Wolf  gave  up  the 
skin.  At  night  he  stole  it  from  under  Hot  Hand's  head. 
He  made  himself  small  like  a  young  water-rat ;  he  hid 
in  the  mud  of  the  lake. 

In  the  morning  the  Brothers  went  on  ;  they  went  along 
the  lake  shore,  for  they  could  see  the  town  of  old  women. 
They  had  no  boat,  no  tree  to  make  a  boat.  They  made 
signs  to  the  old  women,  but  they  came  not. 

In  the  day  Cold  Hand  said  :  "  I  smell  the  wolf;  let 
us  stop  and  fight  with  him."  He  struck  his  spear  into 
mud.  ^He  brought  up  Black  Wolf  on  his  spear ;  he 
spoiled  his  medicine.  The  spear  made  the  rat-skin  a 
wolf-skin  ;  he  took  it  away  with  him.  At  night  he  hung 
it  on  the  spear.  Black  Wolf  could  not  take  it  off. 

In   the  morning   Hot   Hand  said  :  "  Give  it  to  me ;    it 

4  Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

is  mine."  Cold  Hand  gave  it  to  him.  They  walked  by 
the  lake.  Black  Wolf  made  himself  into  a  vapour.  The 
vapour  rolled  before  the  wind  ;  it  rolled  past  the  Brothers ; 
it  took  away  the  skin  Hot  Hand  had  tied  on  his  shoulders. 
The  vapour  rolled  over  the  lake  ;  it  changed  to  a  louse; 
the  louse  went  under  the  wing  of  a  duck  swimming  on 
the  lake.  The  duck  swam  to  the  middle  of  the  lake  ; 
she  dived  to  the  bottom.  Cold  Hand  said  :  "  Let  Black 
Wolf  go  ;  he  has  had  enough."  Hot  Hand  was  ashamed. 
He  said  :  "  Go  first,  brother  ;  you  are  first."  Cold  Hand 
would  not  go  first. 

They  stopped  ;  they  called  the  old  women.  The  old 
women  would  not  help  them.  When  the  old  women 
would  not  help  them,  the  bird  Hee-wa-nee-ka-kee  came 
flying  out  of  the  woods  with  a  twig ;  she  beat  on  the 
twig  till  it  was  hollow  ;  she  blew  on  it  with  her  breath 
till  it  was  large ;  she  made  it  a  boat.  The  Brothers 
took  the  boat ;  they  made  an  oar ;  they  rowed  on  the 
lake.  A  dreadful  large  snake  was  in  the  lake  ;  it  rose 
up  through  the  water  ;  it  showed  its  hard,  white  scales 
below  its  head  with  deer's  horns ;  it  had  eyes  dreadful 
with  fire ;  it  had  teeth  ;  it  spat  fire  ;  it  burned  the 
Brothers.  Hot  Hand,  his  tears  had  not  come ;  he  made 
medicine  with  spittle  ;  he  spat  in  the  snake's  mouth ;  he 
spat  on  his  burns  ;  he  spat  on  his  brother's  burns  ;  he 
sent  the  snake  to  the  bottom  of  the  lake ;  he  kept  it 
there ;  he  was  well,  his  brother  was  well. 

They  went  to  the  land ;  they  saw  old  women  digging 
in  a  field.  "  Give  to  us,"  they  said  to  the  old  women. 
The  old  women  said,  "  Yes "  to  them.  To  themselves 
the  old  women  said  :  "  These  men  are  meat  for  the  pots. 
Let  us  kill  them/'  The  Brothers  heard  them,  but  gave 
no  sign  (kept  a  hard  face).  "Take  from  the  heap  of 
roots  on  the  ground,"  said  the  old  women.  They  had 
bones  in  their  hands  to  strike  with.  The  Brothers  bent 
down ;  they  had  their  spears  over  their  shoulders.  The 

Mythical  Origin.  5 

spears  caught  the  blows  of  the  old  women.  The  old 
women  turned  to  stone. 

The  Brothers  went  on. 

They  saw  other  old  women.  The  old  women  were 
cooking.  "  I  smell  something  I  like,"  said  the  Brothers  ; 
"give  it."  "Yes,"  said  the  old  women.  To  themselves, 
the  old  women  said  :  "  These  men  are  meat  for  the  pots. 
Let  us  kill  them."  The  Brothers  heard  them.  "  Take 
from  the  pot,"  said  the  old  women.  They  had  firebrands 
in  their  hands  to  strike  with.  "We  are  meat  for  the 
pot,"  said  the  Brothers  ;  "  we  will  go  in,  if  you  will  go 
in  when  we  come  out."  "  We  will  go  in  when  you  come 
out,"  said  the  old  women.  The  Brothers  went  into  the 
pot,  they  cooled  it  with  their  breath,  for  their  tears  had 
not  yet  come.  They  stayed  in  the  pot.  Then  they  said  : 
"  It  is  time  to  get  out."  They  jumped  out.  They  said 
to  the  old  women  :  "  Get  in,  it  is  your  turn."  The  old 
women  were  afraid,  they  would  not  go  into  the  pot. 
The  Brothers  pushed  them  in.  The  old  women  were 
burned  up,  all  but  their  thigh-bones.  The  thigh-bones 
the  ,Brothers  took  with  them. 

They  came  to  two  old  women  winnowing  parched 
corn,  tossing  it  in  a  buffalo- robe.  "  I  smell  something  I 
like ;  give  it,"  said  the  Brothers.  "  Yes,"  said  the  old 
women.  To  themselves  they  said  :  "  These  men  are  meat 
for  the  pot.  Let  us  kill  them."  The  Brothers  heard, 
they  kept  a  hard  face.  The  old  women  lowered  the 
robe  to  the  ground.  The  corn  was  in  the  middle  of  it. 
"  Take,"  said  the  old  women.  The  Brothers  stepped  on 
the  robe.  The  old  women  tossed  it  high,  brought  it  hard 
against  the  ground.  The  Brothers'  spears  struck  the 
ground  first,  the  Brothers  came  down  softly  on  their  feet. 
The  spears  touched  the  old  women,  turned  them  into 

The  Brothers  went  on,  taking  the  robe  with  them. 

They  came  to  two  old  women  pounding  meal.     Their 

6          Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

mill  was  a  hollow  log  set  on  a  stone.  They  pounded 
with  hickory  staves.  "  I  smell  something  I  like  ;  give  it," 
said  the  Brothers.  "Yes,"  said  the  old  women.  To 
themselves  they  said  :  "  These  men  are  meat  for  the  pot. 
Let  us  kill  them."  The  Brothers  kept  a  hard  face.  The 
old  women  took  the  staves  from  the  mill.  "  Take  from 
the  mill,"  said  the  old  women.  The  Brothers  stooped 
over  the  mill.  The  staves  of  the  old  women  struck  hard, 
but  the  spears  caught  the  blows.  The  old  women  were 
thrown  into  the  meal,  they  became  weevils  in  the  meal. 

The  Brothers  took  the  mill,  they  poured  out  the  meal, 
they  covered  the  top  of  the  mill  with  the  buffalo-hide, 
they  played  on  the  hide  with  the  thigh-bones,  they  went 
on,  drumming  and  singing. 

Beasts  and  birds  heard  the  drumming  and  singing;  they 
came  to  the  Brothers.  The  ones  with  bad  heart  fought 
the  Brothers.  The  Brothers  killed  many.  Some  went 
away  to  make  medicine  for  the  hurts  they  had.  The 
Brothers  had  no  hurts. 

They  went  into  a  valley.  Four  days  and  four  nights 
(four  suns,  four  sleeps)  they  were  in  the  valley.  Some 
thing  came  at  night,  it  tore  the  drum-head,  it  tore  the 
clothes  of  the  brothers,  it  growled,  it  was  Moo-in,  the 
bear.  They  awakened,  they  ran,  they  saw  no  bear,  by 
day  they  saw  a  fat  old  man  sitting.  They  said :  "  Uncle, 
did  you  see  a  bear?"  He  looked  at  his  paunch,  he  said, 
"  Grandfathers,  I  see  only  myself."  The  last  morning, 
Cold  Hand  said  :  "  Brother,  I  see  a  fat  bear  at  night,  I 
see  a  fat  man  in  the  morning.  There  is  grease  in  the 
tracks  of  the  bear,  let  us  see  if  there  is  grease  in  the 
tracks  of  the  man."  "  Let  us  see/'  said  Hot  Hand.  So 
when  they  came  up  to  the  man,  and  he  said,  "  I  see 
only  myself,"  Cold  Hand  said  :  "  See  my  spear,  it  is 
asking  for  you  " ;  and  he  made  the  spear  stand  alone,  he 
made  it  walk,  he  made  it  bend  toward  the  old  man.  The 
fat  old  man  ran,  there  was  grease  in  his  tracks.  By 

Mythical  Origin.  7 

that  they  knew  he  had  a  devil  in  his  nose,  that  he  could 
have  many  shapes  at  night.  Cold  Hand  ran,  he  caught 
the  fat  old  man,  he  killed  him  before  he  could  make 
medicine,  he  scalped  him. 

The  Brothers  went  on. 

Hot  Hand  said  :  "  I  struck  first."  [Meaning  that  he 
touched  the  dead  body  first.  This  blow  is  the  coup  which 
entitles  whosoever  gives  it  to  the  scalp,  without  any 
consideration  for  the  one  who  dealt  the  death-stroke.] 
Cold  Hand  gave  him  the  scalp. 

They  came  to  a  wigwam  made  of  elm-bark.  An  old 
man  was  in  the  wigwam  by  a  great  fire.  He  watched 
a  stone  pot  that  was  in  the  midst  of  the  fire.  "  I  smell 
something  I  like ;  give  it,"  said  the  Brothers.  "  Take 
it,"  said  the  old  man,  "  if  you  will  swallow  as  I  pour, 
without  cooling."  "  Give  it,"  they  said.  The  old  man 
poured  from  the  pot  for  Hot  Hand,  for  Cold  Hand.  They 
drank,  they  had  a  glad  heart,  the  broth  did  not  burn 
them.  "  Let  us  make  a  trial,"  said  the  old  man.  "  If  I 
win,  all  is  mine ;  if  you  win,  all  is  yours."  The  Brothers 
said :  "  Let  us  make  a  trial."  They  tied  the  door,  they 
piled  wood  on  the  fire.  The  old  man  sweated.  The 
old  man  smoked.  He  made  medicine,  but  he  panted 
and  thirsted.  His  roll  of  furs  (on  which  he  sat)  was 
singed.  The  Brothers  said  :  "  We  are  not  warm  enough." 
They  piled  wood  on  the  fire.  The  water  in  the  jar 
boiled.  The  old  man  drank  it,  groaning.  He  screamed. 
"  We  are  not  warm  enough,"  said  the  Brothers.  They 
piled  wood  on  the  fire.  The  old  man  became  a  crow, 
he  flew  up  toward  the  smoke-hole.  [A  wigwam  has  no 
outlet  for  the  smoke  of  the  fire  built  on  its  floor,  but  a 
hole  in  the  centre  of  the  roof.]  The  smoke  strangled 
the  crow,  he  fell  and  was  burned  up.  The  wigwam 
caught  fire  and  burned  up.  The  Brothers  jumped  out  of 
the  flames,  they  waited  till  the  fire  went  out.  They 
stirred  the  ashes  with  their  spears,  they  found  a  crow's 

8  Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

heart,  they  found  a  crow's  neck-bone.  For  good  luck, 
they  took  them. 

They  went  on. 

At  night,  they  slept  in  a  wood.  The  trees  were  devils, 
they  walked,  they  became  men  and  women,  the  women 
made  love  to  the  Brothers ;  when  the  Brothers  would 
not  have  them,  they  fought,  the  men-devils  fought  to 
help  them.  The  Brothers  could  not  make  a  fire  to  drive 
away  the  devils,  the  brush  would  not  burn,  but  they 
fought  with  their  spears,  they  overthrew,  they  pierced. 
By  day,  the  devils  were  trees.  Then  the  Brothers  brought 
wood,  they  burned  the  trees.  Then  they  made  medicine, 
they  made  themselves  well.  They  slept. 

In  the  morning,  they  went  on. 

They  saw  an  antelope.  All  day,  they  ran  after  it.  It 
jumped  over  a  ravine,  it  was  gone.  The  Brothers  jumped, 
they  fell  into  the  ravine,  they  fell  through  the  bottom 
of  it  into  a  cave.  The  cave  had  in  it  the  Ancestors 
[the  ancestral  animals].  The  Ancestors  sat  round  a  fire. 
The  Brothers  saluted  them,  beginning  with  the  Musquakie 
(Fox)  and  ending  with  the  Ah-tha-ba-nee  (Raccoon). 
Cold  Hand  saluted  first.  When  the  Brothers  went  down, 
Hot  Hand  fell  on  his  back,  Cold  Hand  fell  on  his  feet, 
he  saluted.  Grandfather  Fox  (Hee-to-gwaw-Mus-qua-kie) 
saluted  before  the  other  Animals.  Grandfather  Raccoon 
(Hee-to-gwa- Ah-tha-ba-nee)  saluted  last.  These  were  the 
Ancestors,  the  Animals :  Fox  (Mus-qua-kie),  Eagle 
(Sclar),  Bear  (Moocha),  Beaver  (Ha-ma-qua),  Fish  (Na-ma- 
thee),  Antelope  (Esqua-ba-qua-wah-see-qua-thee-way), 
Raccoon  (Ah-tha-ba-nee). 

Let  us  make  them  ma-coupee  [full  of  magic,  fetish. 
Can't  translate  exactly].  Grandfather  Fox  said  it. 

"  No,"  said  the  other  Animals.  "  They  will  know  too 
much,  they  will  trouble  us." 

"They  will  help  us,"  said  Grandfather  Fox. 

"They  will  help  us,"  said   Grandfather  Antelope.     "  It 

Mythical  Origin.  9 

is  promised.  They  will  have  a  new  place.  I  dreamed 

"  Make  them  ma-coupee"  said   the  Animals. 

Grandfather  Raccoon  filled  the  pipe  and  gave  it  to 
Grandfather  Fox.  Grandfather  Fox  smoked.  He  gave 
the  pipe  to  Grandfather  Eagle.  The  Animals  smoked 
in  turn,  Grandfather  Raccoon  last.  He  offered  the  pipe 
to  Cold  Hand.  Cold  Hand  said:  "To  him  first,  he  is 
Elder  Brother."  Hot  Hand  had  it  first,  he  passed  it  in 
his  right  hand  across  his  left  to  Cold  Hand,  he  fell  down 
asleep.  At  the  first  whiff,  Cold  Hand  trembled  ;  at  the 
second,  he  was  faint ;  at  the  third,  he  was  blind  ;  at  the 
fourth,  he  was  breathless.  He  handed  back  the  pipe  as 
he  was  falling,  he  slept. 

The  Animals  cut  out  their  hearts,  they  cut  out  their 
livers,  their  lungs,  their  stomachs,  their  bowels,  they  puri 
fied  all  with  water  and  the  smoke  of  medicine,  they 
returned  them  to  the  bodies.  The  Brothers  slept  a  moon 
(twenty-seven  days).  They  had  dreams.  The  dreams 
told  of  the  people  to  come,  the  Brothers'  people.  They 
awoke,  they  stretched  themselves,  they  stood  up.  The 
Animals  said  :  "Ho,  Brothers."  They  were  brothers  to 
the  Animals  [received  as  equals  by  the  Animals].  Their 
hearts  were  large,  they  were  happy ;  they  were  sad  in 
knowledge,  their  tears  came.  They  remembered  their 
dreams,  they  stood  in  a  dark  place  together  and  talked 
of  the  dreams,  they  asked  the  Animals :  "  Do  we  go 
back  ?  Do  we  go  to  the  upper  world  ?  "  "  Not  now,"  said 
the  Animals,  "  you  are  not  finished."  The  Animals  made 
the  Brothers  fast  nine  days.  The  Brothers  could  not 
feel  the  sun,  the  Animals  told  them  the  days.  The 
Brothers  dreamed.  They  dreamed  of  their  medicine  [the 
fetish  each  was  to  wear  under  his  left  arm].  The  fast 
ended,  the  Brothers  were  instructed.  They  learned  the 
ceremonials  for  puberty,  they  learned  the  laws  for  the 
government  of  a  tribe,  they  learned  the  laws  of  the  secret 

io         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

societies,  they  learned  the  dances,  they  learned  all  good 
magic,  they  learned  to  counteract  the  bad  magic  that 
had  been  taught  to  the  tribes  already  made,  by  little 
devils  (stha-och)  and  great  devils  (meitche-manito-og). 

Eighty  days  from  the  day  of  the  chase  of  the  ante 
lope,  the  Brothers  were  sent  back.  They  were  sent  back 
to  the  Middle  World.  An  eagle  came  down  through 
the  smoke-hole.  The  Animals  called  the  eagle,  they  set 
the  Brothers  on  him.  The  eagle  flew  up,  he  flew  down, 
he  sat  under  a  tree.  "Strip  off  the  branches,"  he  said  to 
the  Brothers.  "  Make  a  house  of  the  branches."  He 
flew  away.  They  stripped  off  the  branches,  they  made 
a  house  of  the  branches,  a  woven  wee-ka-ya-up.  They 
sat  down  in  it,  they  said:  "What  is  this  for?"  When 
they  had  sat  awhile,  Hot  Hand  said  :  "  I  got  a  louse 
from  that  bird."  He  scratched  a  lump  swelling  on  his 
shoulder.  "  I  got  a  louse  from  that  bird,"  said  Cold 
Hand.  He  scratched  a  lump  on  his  side.  The  lump 
broke.  Hot  Hand  took  out  a  boy.  The  lump  broke. 
Cold  Hand  took  out  a  girl.  The  boy  was  the  size  of  a 
duck's  egg.  The  girl  was  the  size  of  a  plover's  egg. 
They  grew  to  be  man  and  woman  that  day,  they  were 
given  each  other  in  marriage.  In  a  year  they  had  seven 
sons  and  seven  daughters.  From  the  seven  sons  and 
seven  daughters  came  the  seven  clans  of  the  Musquakies. 
The  seven  clans  are  named  for  the  seven  ancestral  animals. 
The  boy  that  was  the  first  of  the  clan  started  the 
name.  The  seven  boys  that  came  first  could  each  take 
the  shape  of  his  Animal  (Totem).  The  oldest  boy  was 
a  Mus-qua-kie,  he  gave  his  name  to  his  clan,  to  the 
tribe;  the  others  were  under  him.  His  father  was  Hee- 
to-gwaw  (Grandfather),  his  mother  was  Hee-coo-nee 

The  Brothers  taught  the  boy  and  girl.  They  told 
them  all  the  laws  of  the  Animals.  The  boy  and  girl 
learned  all  the  laws.  Then  the  Brothers  went  on.  They 

Mythical  Origin.  1 1 

went  away  to  kill  or  conquer  all  the  demons  (wo-skay- 
pee-sku-nee-og),  all  the  little  devils1  (stha-wah)  and  all 
the  great  devils  (mitche-manito-wah),  they  left  the  boy 
and  girl  to  build  up  the  tribe. 

Creatures  that  make  diseases  in  individual  bodies.  Great  devils  bring 
wars  and  pestilence,  all  the  great  evils.  Demons  are  vampires,  wer-wolves, 
nightmares,  etc. 



THE  Brothers  went  on.  They  went  on  to  kill  or 
conquer  all  the  demons  and  devils.  They  saw  a  demon. 
He  had  no  body;  he  was  all  head.  He  had  teeth  like 
bread-stones  [the  granite  boulders  on  which  the  women 
mould  their  bread].  His  mouth  was  a  man's  length,  his 
nose  high  as  a  wild-cat's  back,  his  eyebrows  were  great 
as  a  wolf-skin,  his  hair  like  a  bull  buffalo's  hung  down, 
his  eye-holes  eyeless  a  shield's  size  were.  He  slept. 
He  slept  where  he  wallowed  a  hole,  his  mouth  open,  his 
nose  scenting  prey  a  day's  journey  off.  The  sun  made 
him  sleep.  He  slept  from  sun  up  to  sundown  if  no 
prey  came.  His  prey  was  young  children.  He  drew 
them  by  his  tongue.  His  tongue  had  a  snake's  head 
at  the  end.  He  chewed  the  children,  he  sucked  the 
blood,  he  spat  them  out.  They  became  little  devils, 
little  devils  that  fly  into  the  nose,  the  throat,  the  belly, 
and  make  the  people  sick  and  of  bad  heart,  little  devils 
no  man  can  see  but  the  medicine-man. 

The  Brothers  sounded  the  war-cry  —  the  cry  the 
Animals  taught  them.  The  demon  was  far  off,  his 
name  was  Kee.  He  heard  the  Brothers  ;  he  rolled  over 
hills  and  hollows  four  days.  He  came  to  them.  Hot 
Hand  struck  first.  Kee  sang  his  song.  The  spear 
struck  his  teeth,  it  jumped  back,  it  jumped  back  many 

Achievements  and  Fate  of  the  Brothers.       1 3 

times.  Cold  Hand  shed  a  tear  on  his  spear  ;  the  spear 
told  him  to  shed  it.  He  drove  the  spear  into  Kee's 
mouth.  He  struck,  all  Kee's  upper  teeth  fell  in.  He 
struck,  all  Kee's  lower  teeth  fell  in.  He  struck,  Kee's 
tongue  fell  in ;  it  leaped  from  his  mouth ;  it  hissed  ;  it 
slipped  in  among  the  bushes.  Hot  Hand  counted  coup 
on  Kee  ;  but  Kee  was  not  dead,  he  rolled  away,  bleeding. 
His  blood  made  biting,  small  beasts.  Cold  Hand  said 
to  Kee  :  "  Go  where  the  sun  is  not."  Kee  went  there. 
He  was  the  first  to  go.  Now  all  bad  men  go.  Hot 
Hand  said :  "  I  took  him,  he  is  mine."  "  I  have  dreamed. 
He  is  to  you  always,"  Cold  Hand  said.  Cold  Hand  did 
not  dream,  he  heard  the  spear  talk. 

The  Brothers  went  on. 

They  fought  more  demons,  they  sent  them  to  the  place 
where  the  sun  was  not.  The  demons  were  blood-suckers. 
A  demon  was  a  leg,  tall  as  a  tree.  He  trampled 
people,  the  foot  sucked  blood.  A  demon  was  an  arm, 
long  as  a  blacksnake,  the  hand  sucked  blood.  A  demon 
was  an  ear,  great  as  a  hillside.  The  ear  sucked  in 
children,  it  sucked  their  blood.  They  fell  out  dry  as 
old  wood,  they  had  moss  on  them,  they  were  devils. 
All  fought.  The  Brothers  sent  them  to  the  place. 

The  Brothers  went  on. 

They  fought  three  women.  The  women  had  no 
heads.  They  had  eyes  in  their  breasts,  they  had 
mouths  in  their  bellies.  The  women  had  spears.  They 
fought  hard  ;  they  gave  out  an  odour.  The  Brothers  fell 
down  from  the  odour.  Cold  Hand  said  "Strike!"  to  his 
spear.  The  spear  struck,  it  killed  the  women.  The 
ghosts  went  to  the  place. 

The  Brothers  went  on. 

They  took  many  demons,  many  great  devils,  many 
small  devils.  The  demons  and  devils  could  not  hide 
well  enough.  The  Brothers  said :  "  All  the  Petuns,  all 
the  Ho-da-su-nee,  all  the  people  feared  the  demons  and 

14        Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  devils,  let  us  go  to  them  for  our  presents."  The 
people  hated  the  Brothers ;  they  were  jealous ;  the 
medicine-men  made  them  jealous,  they  made  them  afraid. 
The  people  called  all  the  demons  and  devils  left,  all 
the  medicine-men,  all  the  birds  and  beasts  that  knew 
sorcery  [bad  medicine,  ma-cou-pee-sku-nee\.  They  went 
to  a  wood-of-trees-that-walk.  They  stayed  all  night  ; 
they  had  a  council  without  a  fire.  Then  they  dared 
the  Brothers  with  shouts.  The  wood-of-trees-that-walk 
would  fall  on  the  Brothers.  The  Brothers  ran  to  the 
shouts.  They  met  three  women.  The  women  gave 
them  bows,  and  arrows  that  came  back  to  the  bows. 
The  Brothers  conquered  many  with  the  bows  and 
arrows.  They  stood  far  off  from  the  wood-of-trees-that- 
walk,  and  shot  with  the  arrows  that  came  back  to  them. 
They  sang  their  song ;  they  made  the  demons  and 
devils  they  shot  go  to  the  place.  The  other  demons 
and  devils  and  the  people  ran  away  from  the  wood-of- 
trees-that-walk.  They  ran  away  at  night.  In  the 
morning  they  had  a  council  They  sent  away  Mar- 
ko-ga,  the  owl,  to  find  the  demons,  Chee-nau-og,  the 
makers  of  storms,  eaters  of  men,  with  ice  hearts,  with 
hands  cold  as  frost  The  owl  found  the  Chee-nau-og, 
he  told  them,  then  he  was  ashamed,  he  hid  himself, 
he  comes  by  day  no  more.  The  Chee-nau-og  came ; 
they  fought  the  Brothers.  Hot  Hand  conquered 
many ;  Cold  Hand  could  not  conquer.  The  Chee-nau-og 
made  a  storm — rain  and  snow — between  the  Brothers. 
They  killed  Cold  Hand.  Hot  Hand  did  not  know.  He 
sang  his  song ;  he  went  on.  Cold  Hand  did  not  come 

Hot  Hand  went  on. 

He  waited.  He  built  a  house  there.  He  sat  in  the 
house  looking  out. 

He  searched.  He  could  not  find  Cold  Hand.  The 
Chee-nau-og,  running  away,  threw  snowstorms  behind 

Achievements  and  Fate  of  the  Brothers.       i  5 

them;  he  could  not  find  Cold  Hand  in  the  storms.  His 
heart  was  weak ;  he  could  not  make  medicine  strong 
enough  to  find  Cold  Hand.  If  he  had  found  the  body 
he  could  have  called  back  the  soul.  He  went  back  to 
his  house  he  made.  He  sat  down  in  the  door ;  he 
wept  and  groaned.  He  sobbed  and  sighed,  till  the 
earth  trembled  and  trees  fell  down.  He  sighed  till  the 
flat  earth  drew  up  into  hills;  he  wept  till  his  tears 
made  rivers  between  the  hills. 

The  people  were  frightened.  They  said  to  the 
medicine-men  :  "  Make  the  dead  alive  !  Be  quick  !  This 
fellow  we  cannot  kill  will  tear  the  world  to  pieces.  Be 
quick."  The  medicine-men  said  :  "  We  will  make  the 
dead  alive."  They  worked  hard  for  four  days  and  four 
nights ;  they  made  him  alive ;  they  sent  him  to  his 
brother.  The  brother  was  not  pleased.  Hot  Hand  said : 
"  I  am  ashamed.  They  have  heard  me  mourn.  Every 
thing  has  heard  me  mourn.  I  have  lifted  the  ground 
into  hills,  I  have  torn  up  trees,  I  have  made  rivers  of 
tears,  I  have  groaned  like  a  herd  of  bulls.  You  should 
have  come  sooner."  Hot  Hand  stood  up,  he  went  into 
his  house,  and  pulled  [shut]  the  door.  Cold  Hand  sat 
down  outside  the  door.  He  was  poor  in  mind  ;  he  did 
not  know  what  was  the  thing  to  do,  for  he  had  not 
back  the  spear ;  he  had  not  back  the  arrows  and  the 
bow.  He  stayed  there.  Hot  Hand  waited.  He  waited 
a  long  time.  Then  he  pulled  back  the  door-skin  a 
little,  and  handed  out  a  kettle,  fire-sticks,  tobacco,  and 
a  little  whistle  to  call  ghosts.  Cold  Hand  took  the 
things.  He  went  away  from  that  place.  He  followed 
the  sun.  The  storms  were  gone.  He  went  faster  than 
the  sun.  He  sat  down  on  the  edge  of  the  world  to 
dream.  When  he  had  dreamed  he  made  a  place  for 
good  souls.  Before  that  they  had  no  place ;  they 
blew  about  in  the  wind.  Since  that  time  death  has 
been  better  than  life. 

1 6        Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

Hot  Hand  went  on. 

He  killed  many  little  devils  of  bad  dreams  and 
disease ;  he  conquered  many  demons,  but  he  did  not 
like  the  people  any  more.  He  was  poor  in  heart  for 
Cold  Hand.  He  followed  the  sun  over  the  road  of 
ghosts ;  he  sat  down  and  dreamed  of  the  good  place 
of  Cold  Hand.  He  went  on.  He  sat  down  in  the 
road  where  it  divided.  He  did  not  get  up ;  he  was 
tired.  He  is  there  now.  He  points  the  way  to  his 
brother's  place  to  good  souls;  he  points  the  way  to 
the  cold,  wet  place  of  the  demons  and  devils  to  bad 



PRECISELY  when  the  Musquakies  associated  themselves 
with  the  Sacs,  is  not  set  down  on  the  "winter  counts," 
as  the  hieroglyphics  painted  on  skins  or  bark  as  memo 
randa  for  the  historians  and  poets  are  called.  The  first 
white  settlers  stated  they  found  them  separate  nations 
in  Canada.  The  missionaries,  Allouez,  Andre*,  and  Mar- 
quette,  preached  to  them  as  distinct  tribes  on  the  banks 
of  Lake  Superior,  in  1669,  1670,  1671.  La  Salle  and 
Hennepin  quarrelled  with  the  Outagamies,  as  Hennepin 
called  them,  in  1679,  and  afterwards  made  a  feast  for 
them.  No  mention  is  made  of  Sacs  being  concerned 
with  either  wrangle  or  feast.  Parkman,  referring  to  the 
"  Relation  de  la  defaite  des  Renards  par  les  Sauvages 
Hurons  et  Iroquois  le  28  Fev.,  1732"  (Archives  de  la 
Marine),  which  gives  an  account  of  the  slaughter  of  the 
Outagamies  in  their  villages  along  the  Wisconsin  River 
by  bands  of  Iroquois,  Hurons,  and  Ottawas,  adds :  "  It 
may  be  well,  however,  to  mention  another  story,  often 
repeated,  touching  these  dark  days  of  the  Outagamies. 
It  is  to  the  effect  that  a  French  trader  named  Marin, 
whom  they  had  incensed  by  levying  blackmail  from  him, 
raised  a  party  of  Indians,  with  whose  aid  he  surprised 
and  defeated  the  unhappy  tribe  at  the  Little  Butte  des 
Morts,  that  they  retired  to  the  Great  Butte  des  Morts, 
higher  up  the  Fox  River,  and  that  Marin  here  attacked 

1 8        Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

them  again,  killing  or  capturing  the  whole.  Extravagant 
as  the  story  may  seem,  it  may  have  some  foundation, 
though  various  dates,  from  1725  to  1746  are  assigned 
to  the  alleged  exploit,  and  contemporary  documents  are 
silent  concerning  it.  It  is  certain  that  the  Outagamies 
were  not  destroyed,  as  the  tribe  exists  to  this  day. 

"In  1736  it  was  reported  that  sixty  or  eighty  Outa- 
gamie  warriors  were  still  alive  (Memorie  sur  le  Canada, 
1736).  Their  women,  who  when  hard  pushed  would  fight 
like  furies,  were  relatively  numerous  and  tolerably  pro 
lific,  and  their  villages  were  full  of  sturdy  boys,  likely 
to  be  dangerous  in  a  few  years.  Feeling  their  losses 
and  their  weakness,  the  survivors  of  the  tribe  incor 
porated  themselves  with  their  kindred  and  neighbors, 
the  Sacs,  Sakis,  or  Saukies,  the  two  forming  henceforth 
one  tribe,  afterwards  known  to  the  Americans  as  the 
Sacs  and  Foxes.  .  .  ." 

In  a  footnote  he  adds,  "  Outagamie  is  Algonquin  for 
Fox.  .  .  .  They  called  themselves  Musquakies,  which 
is  said  to  mean  red  earth,  and  to  be  derived  from 
the  color  of  the  soil  near  one  of  their  villages." 

As  to  this  last  statement,  I  don't  know  what  Algon 
quin  tongues  may  call  a  fox  "  Outagamie,"  I  do  know, 
however,  that  "Musquakie"  means  "Fox,"  whether  refer 
ence  is  made  to  the  animal  or  the  tribesman,  in  Saukie, 
Kickapoo,  and  Musquakie,  though  the  Saukies  (Saukie- 
ock,  to  speak  the  plural  as  they  do)  say  jokingly  that 
Geechee  Manito-ah  made  the  Saukie  out  of  yellow  clay 
and  the  Squawkie  out  of  red.  Furthermore,  the  Mus 
quakies  claim  that  they  never  had  any  other  name  than 
Musquakie,  that  their  neighbours  called  them  Outa- 
gamie-ock,  other-side-of-the-river-people,  when  they  lived 
on  Fox  River.  They  deny  emphatically  that  they 
received  the  name  "  Fox "  only  after  they  were  driven 
to  the  river  by  the  Iroquois. 

Here  is  the  story  repeated  four  times  a  year  by  the 

Legend  and  History.  19 

tribal  historian,  at  the  council-fire  :  After  the  Brothers 
went  away,  the  parents  of  the  seven  sons  and  seven 
daughters  dwelt  quietly  in  the  wood  near  the  sea-shore. 
They  lived  to  see  many  generations  of  their  descendants, 
and  to  hear  their  warrior-grandsons  boast  how  they  had 
harried  the  wicked  tribes  that  requited  evil  for  good 
with  the  Brothers.  Among  these  warriors  was  a  young 
sub-chief  called  Bull  Buffalo  [a  posthumous  child  pro 
bably,  though  this  is  not  in  the  recital,  for  "the-man- 
who-never-has-seen-his-father  "  is  always  a  prophet].  Bull 
Buffalo,  at  the  time  of  his  nine  days'  fast,  had  a  vision 
which  showed  him  the  young  tribe  moving  westward, 
meeting  and  associating  itself  with  an  older  people,  as 
had  been  foretold  in  the  beginning  by  the  Brothers. 
The  "  sign "  was  to  be  a  white  buffalo  which  should 
appear  and  run  back  and  forth  between  the  Musquakies 
and  the  encampment  they  were  to  approach,  and  then 
disappear  as  mysteriously  as  it  came.  All  this  came 
to  pass,  the  historians  assure  us ;  and  the  two  tribes 
were  as  one  until,  in  1833,  the  Musquakies  returned  to 
that  part  of  the  country  of  the  Illinois  now  known  as 
the  State  of  Iowa. 

The  more  prosaic  account  of  the  Sacs  is  that  a  band 
of  the  Musquakies  rebelled  against  a  cross  old  chief, 
set  out  to  seek  their  fortune,  wheedled  a  company  of 
girls  whom  they  found  gathering  blackberries,  into 
marrying  them,  went  home  to  live  with  their  mothers- 
in-law  and,  eventually,  assembled  all  their  poor  relations 
under  the  tent-poles  of  their  prosperous  relatives-by- 

I  do  not  believe  that  this  last  story  is  intended  to 
be  taken  seriously.  The  Sacs  are,  in  contrast  with  their 
saturnine  neighbours,  the  Kickapoos,  and  their  rather 
grave  allies,  the  Musquakies,  a  very  waggish  people, 
delighting  in  practical  jokes  and  anecdotes  nicely  calcu 
lated  to  rouse  vehement  protests  and  denials  from  the 

2O         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

subject  of  them.  The  one  point  in  favour  of  the  state 
ment  is  that  the  Musquakies,  although  they  speak  of 
the  Fox  as  their  most  revered  totem,  have  their  chiefs 
from  the  Eagle  Clan  as  do  the  Sacs  from  their  Eagle 
Clan.  Even  this,  however,  is  not  conclusive.  Bull 
Buffalo,  the  prophet,  is  spoken  of  as  a  sub-chief.  Judging 
from  his  name,  he  must  have  belonged  to  a  Buffalo  clan. 
There  is  no  clan  of  that  totem  now,  nor  any  tradition 
of  one ;  but  how  else  could  he  have  come  by  the  name  ? 
To  be  sure,  it  is  possible  that  the  Bear  clan  may  have 
included  in  its  nomenclature  all  the  larger  game  animals ; 
but  it  is  not  probable. 

On  one  fact  all  stories  agree :  that  the  Hurons  and 
Iroquois,  with  some  assistance  from  those  pale-faces  of 
whom  it  is  said  that  upon  landing  in  America  they  "fell 
on  their  knees  and  then  on  the  aborigines,"  found  the 
tribes  allied  not  amalgamated,  and  drove  them  inch  by 
inch  westward  to  the  shores  of  Lake  Superior,  and  there, 
the  French,  unwilling  that  their  strength  should  be  added 
to  that  of  the  red  men  already  in  possession,  attacked 
them,  and  crowded  them  southward,  along  the  valley  of  the 
Mississippi.  From  that  last  ill  came  good.  In  the 
great  wooded  prairies  of  that  rich  basin,  they  found  game 
and  food  in  abundance,  the  climate  was  more  genial 
than  any  to  which  they  had  been  accustomed,  the  water 
of  the  rivers  was  pure  and  many  medicinal  springs  were 
found,  so  that  in  their  new  environment  they  had 
much  comfort  and  their  numbers  multiplied  in  spite  of 
occasional  warfare  with  the  Dakotahs,  their  kinsfolk  the 
Kickapoos  and  Chippeways,  their  friends  of  other  days 
the  Shawnees,  and  bands  of  their  ancient  enemies  the 
Iroquois,  whom  they  blessed  the  British  for  smiting. 

So  well  did  they  love  the  British  for  breaking  the 
power  of  these  tyrants  of  the  red  races  that  they  took 
no  part  with  Pontiac  when  he  persuaded  the  Sacs  to 
join  his  conspiracy  in  1763,  and  in  1776  and  1812  they 

Legend  and  History.  21 

gave   up  the  safe  role  of  neutrals  and   fought   valiantly 
for  King  George  and  the  Regent. 

From  1814  to  1832  they  were  comparatively  peaceful, 
the  occasional  hair-lifting  of  their  relatives  and  neighbours 
being  on  so  small  a  scale  as  to  count  for  nothing  more 
than  a  family  jar.  But,  in  1832,  under  the  leadership  of 
Black  Hawk,  the  Sac  chieftain,  they  rose  once  more 
against  the  United  States,  this  time,  for  a  wrong  so 
grievous  that  they  must  have  the  sympathy  of  all  who 
love  fair  dealing.  A  few  years  before,  a  member  of  the 
allied  tribes  killed  a  companion.  The  white  government 
agent  sent  him  to  St.  Louis  to  be  tried  for  murder. 
According  to  their  custom,  the  relatives  of  the  prisoner 
sought  to  buy  his  life  from  the  relatives  of  the  dead 
man ;  but  the  agent  had  taken  the  matter  out  of  their 
hands.  The  relatives  supposed  there  was  but  one  way 
of  settling  such  difficulties;  consequently,  they  entrusted 
the  bundle  of  rich  furs,  beadwork  and  wampum  to 
certain  sub-chiefs,  and  sent  them  to  St.  Louis.  There* 
the  sub-chiefs  were  spoken  fair  by  some  in  authority, 
their  presents  were  received,  they  were  offered  such  hos 
pitalities  as  dram-shops  afford  and  gave  themselves  up 
to  the  enjoyment  of  them.  At  the  end  of  a  month, 
they  returned  to  the  tribes,  a  sickly,  shame-faced,  sorry 
lot.  When  questioned,  they  confessed  that  they  were 
drunk  for  a  week,  at  the  end  of  this  time,  they  became 
sober  enough  to  ask  that  the  prisoner  they  had,  as  they 
thought,  paid  for,  be  delivered  to  them.  His  prison 
door  was  thrown  open,  but  when  he  passed  through  it 
he  was  shot  down.  Something  was  said  about  his  having 
had  a  trial,  but  the  sub-chiefs  were  still  too  muddled  by 
their  potations  to  understand,  or  even  to  take  charge  of 
the  body  or  know  what  disposition  was  made  of  it.  The 
worst  of  their  mischief  they  did  not  confess.  Perhaps 
they  were  not  aware  that  they  had  committed  it. 
Months  later,  the  head  chiefs  were  confronted  with  a 

22         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

document  which  vested  the  title  of  their  best  lands, 
their  hunting-grounds,  the  sites  of  their  principal  villages 
and,  most  dreadful  of  all,  their  burying-grounds,  in  white 
men  unknown  to  them.  This  paper  was  signed  by  the 
sub-chiefs,  that  is,  each  of  them  had  scratched  a  cross 
on  it  in  the  presence  of  witnesses.  The  head-chiefs  and 
their  councils  protested  that  sub-chiefs  had  no  power  and 
authority  to  make  either  deeds  or  treaties,  and  the 
matter  rested  for  a  while.  Finally  an  order  with  soldiers 
behind  it  came  for  the  Indians  to  move  on.  The  two 
tribes,  with  Black  Hawk,  the  war-chief  elected  by  them, 
at  their  head,  in  spite  of  the  warnings  of  Keokuk,  the 
shrewdest  of  the  chiefs,  resisted  the  order,  and,  as  a 
preliminary,  killed  the  agent  and  several  liquor-dealers 
who  infested  the  land  in  dispute.  The  result  was  inevi 
table.  The  red  men,  as  usual,  were  overcome  and  driven 
from  their  homes,  Christian  civilisation  filled  their  place 
in  what  is  now  known  as  the  State  of  Iowa,  and  the 
savages  were  located  on  what  is  now  known  as  the 
Brown  County  (Kansas)  Indian  Reservation.  All  the 
Sacs  submitted  to  the  change,  but  the  older  Musquakies 
were  not  allowed  to  sit  down  and  eat  out  their  hearts 
with  home-sickness.  There  followed  what  is  known  as 
the  "  Revolt  of  the  Squaws."  This  was  the  cause  of  it  : 
In  the  cold,  wet  Spring  of  1831,  nearly  all  the  children 
of  the  two  tribes  had  the  measles,  a  disease  introduced 
by  the  white  settlers,  and  treated  by  the  Indian  medicine- 
women  with  the  universal  remedy,  an  hour  or  two  in  the 
sweat-lodge  followed  by  a  cold  bath.  Nearly  every  child 
died  and  was  buried,  not  with  the  older  people  on  the 
hill-tops,  but  in  the  path  leading  from  the  wigwams  to 
the  river.  The  little  children  as  well  as  the  very  aged, 
so  the  Indians  believe,  cannot  find  their  way  to  the  Spirit 
Land,  they  must  be  led  by  their  next  of  kin,  and  the 
freed  spirit  of  the  adult  must  linger  near  its  former  home 
until  started  down  the  ghost-road  by  the  ghost-carrier. 


<f"      OF  Tri 


NJL^/PO  ^*r 

Legend  and  Histvryr  23 

The  mother  who  dies  far  from  her  baby's  grave  loses 
her  darling  for  ever,  the  mother  who  keeps  near  it  has 
two  chances  for  happiness.  As  she  goes  over  the  grave 
in  the  path,  she  may  absorb  the  little  soul  and  have  it 
born  again  of  her  body  ;  or  if  this  is  denied  her,  she 
may  have  the  little  spirit  flit  to  and  fro  as  she  goes 
about  her  work,  though  it  may  not  enter  her  habitation. 
"  We  go  back  to  the  children,"  said  the  bereaved  Mus- 
quakie  mothers,  "the  men  may  go  or  stay."  They  set 
out,  and  the  men  followed  and  overtook  them. 

They  made  no  effort  to  regain  their  rich  fields  and 
wooded  hills.  They  took  an  humble  place  along  the 
river  banks,  on  the  marshy  flats  from  which  the  sun 
stewed  the  pestilent  vapors  that  engendered  ague  and  all 
the  malignant  fevers  attendant  upon  malaria,  and  lived 
there  with  their  baby-ghosts  and  their  dire  poverty, 
unmolested  by  the  white  people  until  the  village  of  Tama 
expanded  into  a  city  and  the  wet  land  was  worth  drain 
ing  and  dividing  into  town  lots.  Then,  it  was  too  late 
for  the  white  man  to  lift  the  burden  of  ownership.  The 
Musquakies  had  deeds  to  their  mud  and  malaria.  They 
had  made  a  little  money  by  hunting  water-fowl  and 
muskrats,  fishing,  basket-weaving  and  other  simple  arts, 
and  with  it  they  had  bought  from  the  government  the 
tract  so  long  considered  worthless,  at  the  rate  of  six 
shillings  the  acre.  Later,  from  discontented  settlers,  they 
purchased  five  farms  lying  across  the  low  hills  and 
shallow  valleys.  Still  later,  Providence  sent  them  a  friend 
in  the  person  of  an  agent  who  helped  them  to  fill  out 
the  tale  of  three  thousand  acres,  their  present  holdings, 
claiming  and  obtaining  for  them  a  portion  of  the  sum 
paid  for  the  State  of  Iowa  so  unwillingly  relinquished  by 
the  Sacs  and  Foxes.  The  sum  though  small  when  the 
land  was  ceded,  had  been  at  interest  for  over  half  a 
century,  and  interest  and  principal  were  more  than 
enough  to  buy  back  all  the  old  paths  to  the  river,  all 

24         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  old  grave-sites  on  the  hills,  the  old  dance-grounds 
and  some,  at  least,  of  the  fields  where  the  sacred  corn 
for  the  meal  of  sacrifice  was  planted.  From  being  the 
humblest  of  the  red  people,  refugees  who  oftentimes  knew 
what  hospitality  was  from  a  poignant  experience  of  what 
it  was  not,  the  Musquakies  have  become  secure  landed 
proprietors  who  feel  their  importance.  They  have  their 
summer  homes  of  elm-bark  on  the  hills  and  their  winter 
homes  of  closely  woven  tules  covered  with  cowskins 
along  the  river  bank  ;  they  have  some  money  at  interest ; 
they  can,  and  do,  offer  the  hospitality  their  souls  delight 
in — indeed,  their  guests  are  their  undoing  though  they 
will  not  acknowledge  it.  Wily  Pottowattomies  have 
taught  their  young  men  to  gamble  away  their  ponies 
and  ornaments  at  faro,  and  a  white  visitor  started  an 
epidemic  of  smallpox,  that  has  reduced  their  numbers, 
in  the  last  year,  from  four  to  three  hundred  men,  women 
and  children. 



THE  tribe  is  a  limited  monarchy.  Its  head  is  an  here 
ditary  chief  of  the  Eagle  Clan.  Its  parliament  is  the 
head-chief's  council  and  the  councils  of  the  sub-chiefs 
who  preside  over  the  seven  clans  into  which  the  tribe  is 
divided.  Its  cabinet  is  the  body  of  "  Honourable 

The  descent  of  the  headship  is  from  father  to  son, 
though,  as  tribal  history  attests,  there  was  a  time  when 
the  inheritance  passed  over  a  man's  children  to  his  sister's 
oldest  son,  or,  if  he  had  no  nephew  on  the  female  side, 
to  his  brother  of  the  same  mother,  or,  if  he  had  no  brother 
of  the  same  mother,  to  his  mother's  sister's  son. 

The  sub-chiefs  also  are  of  the  Eagle  Clan.  When  one 
dies,  his  place  is  filled,  not  by  his  son,  but  by  the  head- 
chief's  next-of-kin  who  is  not  already  at  the  head  of  a 

The  supremacy  of  the  Eagle  Clan  gives  rise  to  a 
suspicion  that  at  some  distant  date  a  war-chief  chosen 
from  that  clan  must  have  usurped  the  headship  and 
divided  all  the  lesser  offices  among  his  relatives ;  else  why, 
if  the  Fox  is  the  most  revered  totem,  is  not  the  headship 
from  the  Fox  Clan,  and  why  are  not  the  other  clans  ruled 
each  by  a  man  of  its  own  particular  totem  ?  It  may  be 
urged  that  the  historian  of  the  tribe  has  nothing  to  say 
on  the  subject,  but  some  history,  it  is  known,  has  been 

26         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

lost   by  the  death  of  an   historian   before   his    successor 
was  fully  prepared  to  take  his  place. 

The  head-chief's  council  consists  of  the  head-shaman, 
the  war-chief,  the  seven  pipe-keepers — who  are  old  men 
chosen  from  the  whole  tribe  without  reference  to  their 
totems,  because  of  their  fortitude,  bravery,  calmness, 
dignity,  shrewdness  and  honesty, — all  sub-chiefs  who  are 
heads  of  clans,  all  other  sub-chiefs  who  are  "  whole  "- 
that  is,  all  the  head-chiefs  male  relations  who  are  not 
heads  of  clans,  who  are  over  seventeen  years  of  age  and 
not  crippled,  maimed,  deaf,  dumb,  blind  from  infancy, 
insane,  feeble-minded,  or  condemned  to  wear  women's 
clothes,  and  the  tribal  historian  unless  he  is  also  a  chief 
or  pipe-keeper. 

This  council  must  assemble  round  the  council-fire 
four  times  a  year  :  at  corn-planting,  mid-summer,  first- 
frost,  and  mid-winter.  It  may  assemble  as  often  as  the 
head-chief  desires  or  requires  advice  on  matters  of  public 
interest  which  concern  either  the  tribe  or  a  portion  of 
its  members.  Its  province  is  to  make  treaties,  buy,  sell, 
or  rent  lands,  settle  disputes  after  the  lesser  councils 
have  failed,  give  decrees  of  divorce,  and  listen  and  cause 
every  member  of  the  tribe  to  listen  when  the  historian 
chants  or  declaims  the  history  of  the  Ancestors  and  the 
genealogies  and  worthy  deeds  of  the  chiefs  and  other 
great  men  living  or  dead. 

A  council  generally  lasts  from  one  to  four  days.  On 
the  day  appointed  for  it  to  begin,  the  women  bring 
great  quantities  of  fuel  to  the  spot  selected  for  the  fire — 
usually,  an  open  space  in  a  grove — and  then  retire  to  a 
sheltering  clump  of  brush  or  saplings,  from  which  coign 
of  vantage  they  covertly  watch  the  efforts  of  two  old 
men  who  have  been  sent  by  the  councillors  to  kindle  a 
flame  in  the  old-time  way  with  fire-sticks.  The  work 
is  arduous,  but  the  old  men  never  fail  to  have  a  fine, 
clear  blaze  in  time  for  the  first  assembling  of  the  council, 

Government.  2  7 

that  is,  a  little  before  sunset.  The  members  of  all  the 
councils  having  assembled  at  the  head-chief's  house,  to 
which  they  were  bidden  to  repair  several  days  previously, 
by  messengers  sent  by  the  chief,  at  a  nod  from  him  follow 
him,  in  single  file,  in  order  of  rank,  to  the  council-fire. 
When  they  are  yet  a  little  way  from  it,  the  "  most 
honourable  woman,"  that  is,  the  woman  who  has  borne 
and  reared  the  largest  number  of  able-bodied  sons, 
advances  with  a  brand  she  secured  as  soon  as  the  two 
old  men  retired  from  the  scene  of  their  labours,  flings 
it  on  the  blazing  heap  "  from  the  sun  side " — the  west 
Then  she  and  her  fuel-gatherers  take  possession  of  their 
mats,  spread  a  few  feet  away,  and  squat  low  with  their 
necks  sticking  out  of  their  blankets  so  that  they  look 
like  a  row  of  turtles.  The  head-chief  stops  north  of  the 
fire  while  the  head-shaman,  muttering  prayers  as  he  goes, 
marches  stiffly  to  the  east  of  it  and,  with  his  unwinking 
gaze  fixed  on  the  setting  sun,  throws  into  the  flames  as 
an  offering  to  the  god,  four  precious  blue  wampum 
beads.  This  done,  he  moves  a  stride  to  the  south  to 
make  room  for  the  head-chief,  slips  round  behind  him 
and  takes  the  place  of  honour  on  his  right.  Then,  the 
other  members  of  the  council  complete  the  circle  and 
all  sit  down  on  the  ground. 

(This  assemblage  looks  very  neat,  and  extraordinarily 
ugly,  shrouded  in  plain  grey  or  white  blankets,  and  without 
paint,  or  ornament  if  we  except  the  "  medicines "  of  the 

Outside  this  circle  sits  another,  composed  of  the 
members  of  the  sub-chiefs'  councils,  who  are  present  as 
a  mark  of  respect  to  their  leaders.  Behind  these,  stand 
the  young  men  and  "  police." 

As  soon  as  the  councilmen  are  in  their  places,  the 
young  Eagle  on  the  left  of  the  head-chief  rises,  takes 
the  Eagle  pipe  from  the  pipe-keeper,  fills  it  with  killi- 
kinnick  (a  mixture  of  tobacco,  bark  of  the  red  willow, 

28         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

and  leaves  of  the  creeping  wintergreen),  lights  it  and 
hands  it  to  the  chief,  who  takes  four  whiffs  and  blows 
them  toward  the  sun,  after  which  he  hands  the  pipe  to 
the  shaman.  The  shaman  blows  one  whiff  to  the  west, 
the  other  three,  north,  east,  and  south.  He  gives  the 
pipe  to  the  war-chief  who  blows  his  four  whiffs  to  the 
four  points  of  the  compass.  His  example  is  followed 
by  the  others  in  turn.  The  empty  pipe  is  returned  to 
the  keeper.  When  very  important  business  is  to  be  con 
sidered,  all  of  the  clan-pipes  are  smoked,  but  after  the  first, 
the  chief  offers  the  smoke  to  the  four  cardinal  points  as 
do  the  others.  When  the  business  is  of  moment  to  the 
whole  tribe,  the  pipes  are  passed  to  the  second  circle, 
but  its  members  take  no  part  in  the  subsequent  delibera 
tions  unless  called  as  witnesses.  Occasionally,  the  pipe- 
keepers  themselves  hand  the  pipes  to  the  chief.  I  have 
never  been  able  to  obtain  a  reason  for  this  variation  of 
usage.  After  the  pipes,  any  business  is  discussed  except 
divorces.  They  are  always  considered  in  the  morning. 
This  first  meeting  is  from  sunset  to  sunrise  as  a  rule, 
though  one  has  been  known  to  continue  from  sunset  to 
sunset,  or  longer. 

The  pipes  are  smoked  every  evening  through  which 
the  council  lasts.  When  it  is  ended,  the  squaws  put  out 
the  fire  by  covering  it  with  sods.  The  ashes  are  then 
gathered  up  by  the  shamans,  who  use  them  as  medicine. 

Between  discussions,  the  historian  rises  up  and  gives 
a  chapter  of  tribal  history. 

The  chief  has  the  casting  vote,  but  he  is  apt  to  cast 
it  as  the  shaman  advises. 

If  there  is  dissension  and  ill-will  among  the  members, 
the  chief  dismisses  the  council  and  calls  another  meeting 
after  the  Religion  dance. 

As  before  stated,  the  office  of  head-chief  is  hereditary. 
Nearly  always  he  is  the  object  of  reverent  affection  ;  but 
there  have  been  instances  of  revolt,  when  he  was  set 

Government.  29 

aside  and  his  heir  put  in  his  place.  There  is  no  installa 
tion  ceremony.  When  a  man  becomes  the  head  by 
death  or  revolution,  he  calls  together  the  councillors  of 
his  predecessor,  and  the  work  goes  on  as  if  there  had 
been  no  change.  If  compliments,  rebukes,  or  warnings 
are  his  due,  the  old  men  bestow  them  at  the  Religion 
dance.  As  to  his  powers  :  he  calls  and  dismisses  councils, 
gives  the  casting  vote,  and  exercises  much  the  same 
rights  as  are  vested  in  the  chairman  of  a  committee  of 

The  shaman  holds  his  place  by  virtue  of  his  natural 
gifts,  supplemented  by  his  predecessor's  training.  He 
may  be  of  the  lowest  family  or  the  highest.  A  shaman, 
ever  on  the  alert  for  a  worthy  disciple  and  assistant,  sees 
a  boy  of  six  years  or  over,  whom  he  judges  to  have 
the  necessary  qualifications,  and  claims  him  as  his  own, 
a  claim  readily  allowed  by  his  delighted  relatives,  for 
it  does  not  take  him  over  from  their  clan  to  that  of 
his  instructor.  If  he  is  the  chiefs  heir,  so  much  the 
better,  his  "  medicine "  will  make  him  the  better  chief 
and  compel  greater  respect  for  his  authority.  Some 
times,  however,  the  shaman  comes  not  in  by  the  door 
of  his  predecessor,  but  over  the  wall  as  it  were.  The 
present  head-shaman,  Nekon-Mackintosh,  was  left  a 
destitute  orphan  who  wandered  from  wigwam  to  wigwam, 
kindly  enough  treated  but  no  one's  especial  charge  till 
he  caught  the  fancy  of  a  white  physician,  who  found  it 
less  difficult  than  he  would  have  done  in  an  ordinary 
case,  to  take  him  away  from  his  people  and  rear  him 
in  his  own  family.  The  boy  slept  in  a  bed,  ate  at,  and 
not  on,1  a  table,  wore  the  raiment  of  civilization,  went 
to  church  and  to  school,  studied  medicine  and  bade  fair 
to  take  his  foster-father's  place,  but — "  Once  an  Indian, 
always  an  Indian."  When  he  came  of  age  he  deserted 

1  The  savage  who  dines  from  a  table  does  not  sit  or  stand  by  it ;  he  squats 
on  the  top  of  it  with  the  food  at  his  knees. 

30         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

Dr.  Mackintosh,  though  he  kept  his  name,  and  went 
back  to  the  tribe,  where  he  put  his  knowledge  of 
Chemistry,  Botany,  and  Medicine  to  such  good  use  that 
he  is  to-day  the  greatest  man,  not  only  among  the 
Musquakies,  but  among  the  allied  tribes  as  well,  that 
has  appeared  among  them  since  the  prophet-chief,  Wah- 
ballo.  Be  it  understood,  he  is  not  carrying  civilization 
to  his  people,  he  took  the  initiation  of  manhood  with 
an  accompaniment  of  tortures  entirely  optional,  he  feigned 
illness  to  learn  the  secret  of  the  shaman's  magic.  Now, 
he  practises  every  art  of  the  ancient  sorcery  with  such 
additions  as  his  scientific  knowledge  may  suggest,  leads 
the  Medicine-dances,  and  is  a  walking  museum  of  talis 
mans  and  fetiches. 

Beside  the  shaman  sits  the  war-chief,  whose  title  comes 
to  him  by  election.  He  is  the  general  of  the  little  army, 
a  leader,  of  any  family  or  no  family,  chosen  by  the 
votes  of  the  braves,  to  command  them  as  long  as  he 
leads  them  to  success.  The  present  incumbent  of  the 
place  is  very  old,  and,  without  doubt,  will  be  the  last 
to  fill  it. 

The  keepers  of  the  pipes  are  graduates  from  the  sub- 
chiefs'  councils.  Each  is  elected  by  the  council  of  his 
clan  or  totem  to  this  sacred  office,  which  gives  him  a 
seat  at  his  sub-chief's  right  hand  in  the  minor  council, 
and  adds  him  to  the  number  of  the  head-chief's  advisers. 
His  house;  after  he  becomes  custodian  of  the  pipe,  is 
as  sacred  as  the  dance-house.  In  it  must  be  no  light 
and  frivolous  conversation,  no  jests,  no  telling  of  obscene 
stories,  no  censoriousness,  no  love-making.  His  wife 
may  cook,  make,  mend,  or  wash  in  the  wigwam  on  whose 
wall  hangs  the  pipe  in  its  case  ;  but  she  may  not  gossip 
with  her  friends  there,  nor  receive  the  mother  of  her 
daughter's  lover  when  that  anxious  dame  comes  to  treat 
of  marriage.  When  her  husband's  high  honour  turns 
her  out,  she  builds  a  new  house  beside  the  old  one 

Government.  3 1 

and  into  it  moves  her  blankets,  children,  cats,  and  dogs. 
Thither,  her  lord  is  glad  to  follow  her  for  his  hours  of 
rest  and  recreation.  The  one  hardship  for  both  is  the 
amount  of  fuel  required.  It  is  a  man's  business  to  cut 
down  the  tree,  which  the  woman  drags  home  and  partly 
into  the  family  dwelling,  that  is,  she  brings  the  trunk 
to  the  middle  of  the  wigwam,  directly  under  the  smoke- 
hole,  sets  fire  to  it,  and  takes  what  precaution  she  can 
against  the  smoke  settling  or  whirling  about  by  tucking 
the  door-flap  closely  around  that  part  of  her  fuel  supply 
which  makes  exit  or  entrance  a  peril  to  the  unwary. 
If  two  wigwams  are  kept,  one  for  the  deliberations  of 
the  sage  and  his  colleagues,  the  other  for  his  lighter 
moments  with  his  family,  of  course,  two  trees  are  required 
where  formerly  one  sufficed,  and  it  would  never  occur 
to  man  or  woman  to  cut  one  tree  in  two,  or  into  con 
venient  lengths.  The  Musquakie  Adam  and  Eve  probably 
made  a  fire  at  the  base  of  a  tree  and  after  it  fell,  con 
tinued  at  their  need,  to  drag  its  length  over  the  embers 
till  what  had  been  its  topmost  twigs  were  reached,  and 
— "Are  not  the  ways  of  the  ancestors  the  good  ways?" 
The  historian  is  the  man  who,  as  a  boy  of  six,  had 
the  best  memory  of  any  one  of  his  age  in  the  tribe. 
When  an  old  historian  dies,  the  young  one  whom  he 
has  trained  to  take  his  place  immediately  chooses  his 
successor,  not  to  the  child's  satisfaction  as  a  rule,  for  it 
means  long  hours  of  study  with  his  master  instead  of 
the  games  his  soul  loves  with  his  mates.  It  is  a  pity 
really  that  the  master  does  not  have  a  class  in  history 
instead  of  one  pupil,  for  sometimes  the  pupil  dies  when 
the  master  is  old,  and  there  is  not  time  for  the  proper 
training  of  another,  and  so  much  is  lost,  or,  at  best,  kept 
imperfectly  in  plain  and  brief  narration,  in  place  of 
chants.  Once  both  the  historian  and  his  pupil  died. 
Then  was  confusion  and  dismay.  Every  one  hears  the 
lore  four  times  a  year  at  the  councils,  between  the 

32         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

deliberations  of  the  chief  and  his  councillors,  and  frag 
ments  of  it  every  time  there  is  a  dance  or  social 
gathering;  but  it  is  not  in  colloquial  language,  but  in  a 
stately  old  speech  of  words,  minutes-long  and  difficult 
both  of  pronunciation  and  remembrance.  Some  could 
remember  one  passage  and  some  another,  but  no  man, 
even  with  the  aid  of  the  bundle  of  the  "  winter  counts," 
could  piece  out  the  ^Eneid  of  the  tribe.  At  this  moment 
of  despair  came  forward  a  lame  boy  of  low  degree,  who 
had  been  in  the  habit  of  warming  himself  at  a  slit  in  the 
back  of  the  historian's  tent.  He  had  heard  the  instructions 
given  the  young  man,  and  so  profited  by  them  that  he 
was  ready  to  train  a  new  historian.  Although  so  young 
and  a  cripple,  his  grateful  people  broke  rules  for  once, 
gave  him  the  right  of  manhood  in  spite  of  his  infirmity, 
and  set  him  in  the  council  as  historian,  next  the  keepers 
of  the  pipes  and  above  the  young  men  of  the  chiefs 

The  clan-chiefs  do  a  good  deal  of  talking  during  the 
deliberations,  and  are  at  liberty  to  interrupt  the  historian, 
and  ask  him  to  hasten  his  speech  or  change  his  theme. 
They  seldom  rise  to  talk  ;  in  fact,  nobody  in  the  circle 
talks  standing,  except  the  historian. 

The  sub-chiefs  who  are  not  clan-chiefs  have  nothing 
to  say ;  they  are  merely  garnering  wisdom. 

The  members  of  the  second  circle  do  not  talk,  but 
they  have  the  right  to  express  themselves  by  signs.  As 
the  Indian  sign-language  is  almost  as  copious  as  the 
spoken  one,  free  speech  is  but  slightly  restricted.  All 
sit,  but  if  the  pantomimist  is  behind  the  man  he  wishes 
particularly  to  impress,  he  has  the  privilege  of  changing 
his  seat. 

There  is  a  third  circle,  composed  of  young  men  and 
the  four  "police,"  who  are  elected  yearly  after  all  other 
business  is  attended  to,  to  act  as  messengers  and  keep 
the  peace.  The  men  of  this  circle  stand.  They  never 

Government.  3  3 

speak  unless  called  on  as  witnesses,  and  never  stir  unless 
sent  on  some  errand. 

Outside  of  this  picket  is  a  rabble  of  gossips  and 
listeners,  consisting  of  the  very  old,  the  very  young,  and 
the  unconsidered  of  both  sexes. 

Standing  in  a  huddled  group  to  the  south  or  east, 
is  generally  a  wretched  band  of  hungry  and  feverish 
youths  who,  on  the  morrow,  are  to  receive  the  rite  of 

The  "  cabinet,"  the  "  Honourable  Women,"  squatted 
on  their  mats  north  of  the  fire,  look  meek  enough,  but 
woe  betides  the  aspirant  for  tribal  honours  who  pre 
sumes  on  this.  They  keep  a  discreet  silence ;  but  the 
greater  number  of  cases  to  be  tried  they  have  tried 
already  in  the  privacy  of  the  family  wigwam,  and 
though  each  councillor  may  doubt  what  may  be  his 
fellows'  vote,  his  wife,  the  "  honourable  woman,"  has  no 
doubt  of  his,  and  has  already  told  the  "  most  honour 
able"  she  of  the  greatest  number  of  grown  sons,  what 
may  or  may  not  be  expected  of  him.  Famous  are 
these  august  mothers — no  childless  woman  is  among 
them  —  for  turning  public  opinion  this  way  or  that. 
Though  decorum  forbids  them  to  engage  men  in  public 
debate,  they  meet  together  and  agree  on  certain  measures, 
privately  urge  them  upon  the  man  or  men  of  their  house 
holds,  and,  if  uncertain  of  a  sister's  eloquence  or  influence, 
talk  them  over  within  hearing  of  the  doubtful  or  oppos 
ing  councilman  as  if  bent  on  convincing  one  another 
without  reference  to  him.  They  are  not  elected  to  a 
place  on  the  prayer-mats.  When  a  woman  has  a  healthy 
son  old  enough  to  marry,  and  one  or  two  sturdy  rogues 
several  years  his  junior,  she  takes  her  place  as  a  matter 
of  course. 

There  is  but  one  injustice  to  women  in  this  tribe  :  even 
the  most  honourable  woman  may  not  stand  where  the 
two  outer  circles  open  opposite  the  chief,  and  testify  for 

34         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

or   against   the    complainants    standing  there,  unless    she 
be  the  sole  witness  to  a  murder. 

A  sub-council  is  an  informal  affair.  Its  members  are 
invited  by  the  sub-chief  at  the  head  of  the  clan  to  meet 
him  whenever  he  feels  the  need  of  advice,  in  front  of 
his  wigwam  if  the  weather  is  good  ;  in  it,  if  rain  or  snow 
is  likely  to  put  the  fire  out.  The  fire  for  an  out-of- 
doors  meeting  is  made  by  the  women  of  the  sub-chiefs 
household  with  coals  from  the  fire  that  burns  in  the 
middle  of  his  wigwam.  If  the  meeting  is  in-doors,  the 
fire  by  which  he  eats  and  sleeps  serves.  The  ashes  of 
either  fire  are  not  medicine,  but  after  the  council  the 
men  play  a  gambling  game  in  them.  The  members 
of  the  council  are  the  medicine-man  if  the  clan  has 
one,  the  pipe-keeper,  the  sub-chiefs  grown-up  sons,  and 
the  best  old  and  middle-aged  men  in  the  clan.  Every 
one  takes  four  whiffs  at  the  clan  pipe,  after  which 
business  is  in  order.  Generally  the  cases  tried  are 
unimportant,  but  every  complaint  or  dispute  is  listened 
to  with  close  attention. 

As  a  postscript  I  must  add  that  the  pipes  I  have  re 
ferred  to  are  the  peace-pipes.  Formerly  the  tribe  had 
four  hatchet  or  war-pipes;  now  it  has  but  one.  Where 
that  one  is  kept  no  one  will  tell  me.  Its  where 
abouts  (except  when  on  rare  occasions  it  is  made  a 
feature  of  the  little  historical  drama,  "  Burying  the 
hatchet")  is  almost  as  much  of  a  secret  and  mystery  as 
that  of  the  "Mee-sham,"  or  covenant  with  the  gods. 



THE  Musquakies  pay  homage  to  four  gods,  seven  totems 
or  patron  saints,  and  an  uncountable  number  of  demons, 
devils,  sprites,  and  ghosts. 

The  gods  are  the  good  manito-ah  who  dwells  in 
the  sun,  the  bad  manito-ah  who  is  lord  over  that  cold, 
slippery,  wet  cavern  in  which  bad  souls  are  imprisoned, 
and  the  Brothers  whose  places  are  described  elsewhere. 
Geechee  Manito-ah,  the  good  god,  created  all  things, 
gave  to  each  a  soul,  and  ordained  that  a  soul  should 
belong  to  every  work  of  man's  hands.  He  always  was, 
he  always  will  be.  No  one  knows  whether,  in  the  first 
place,  he  made  the  world  or  not,  but  it  is  known  that 
twice  he  nearly  destroyed  it — once  by  fire,  once  by  water. 
When  he  created  the  Ancestral  Animals  he  made  twelve, 
though  his  first  intention  was  to  have  but  eleven.  The 
first  man  he  made  was  so  badly  done  that  he  threw  it 
down  on  its  face  and  called  it  "  Turtle."  Then  he 
decided  not  to  have  a  man  for  an  Ancestor,  but  as  he 
did  not  wish  to  stop  with  anything  as  ugly  and 
awkward  as  Turtle1  he  made  Raccoon.  When  he 
breathed  the  breath  of  life  into  the  clay  figures  he 
breathed  too  fiercely,  and  set  not  only  the  Animals,  but 
all  the  world  on  fire.  After  he  had  extinguished  the 
conflagration  with  a  tear  he  found  nothing  left  alive  but 

1  Turtle  was  the  eleventh  animal  of  the  first  creation. 

36         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

Turtle.  The  fire  had  hardened  his  once  soft  and  hairy 
back  into  a  shell,  but  otherwise  he  had  undergone  no 
change.  This  pleased  the  Geechee  Manito-ah  so  much 
that  he  told  Turtle  to  choose  any  boon  in  the  power 
of  a  god  to  bestow.  Turtle  said :  "  Give  me  a  tail. 
All  the  other  animals  you  made  had  tails.  The  fox 
had  the  best  one  of  all ;  give  me  one  like  his."  Geechee 
Manito-ah  made  answer :  "  You  may  have  a  tail,  but  a 
bushy  one  like  the  fox's  would  wear  out  as  you  dragged 
it  along  the  ground.  Accept  a  smooth  one."  Turtle 
took  a  smooth  one,  and  was  content.  Then  Geechee 
Manito-ah  said  to  Turtle :  "  You  shall  be  grandfather 
to  all ;  you  are  the  eldest."  This  is  why  the  Delaware 
Indians  are  called  Grandfathers  by  the  other  tribes, 
their  chief  totem  is  the  Turtle. 

After  the  fire  was  out  and  the  world  cooled  off,  Geechee 
Manito-ah  again  created  Totems  like  those  destroyed  by 
his  breath,  and  all  other  things,  except  the  Snake  (Wau- 
kau-thee).  Wau-kau-thee  was  a  part  of  him.  A  portion 
of  his  body  being  in  his  way,  he  tore  it  off.  Imme 
diately  it  glided,  hissing,  into  the  bushes,  and  from  thence 
made  its  way  to  a  cave  in  the  top  of  a  high  hill.  Ever 
since  it  has  been  known  as  the  great  Rain-Serpent, 
When  it  puts  its  head  out  of  the  cave  and  draws  in  its 
breath  it  sucks  up  the  moisture  of  the  clouds  and  springs. 
As  long  as  it  has  its  head  out  no  rain  falls,  the  pools 
and  little  streams  are  dried  up,  the  waters  of  the  rivers 
are  low  and  unwholesome.  When  it  draws  in  its  head 
and  goes  to  sleep,  all  is  well  again.  It  made  itself  a 
wife  of  a  dead  tree-branch,  and  became  the  ancestor  of 
all  snakes ;  consequently  the  human  being  who  kills  a 
snake  will  bring  on  a  drought  and  a  pestilence  of  worms, 
caterpillars,  and  insects  (which  sprang  originally  from  the 
slime  left  by  Wau-kau-thee  as  he  crawled  up  the  hill). 
No  harm  results,  however,  from  allowing  hogs  to  eat  the 

Beliefs.  37 

After  the  second  creation,  Geechee  Manito-ah  breathed 
very  softly  on  all  he  had  made,  so  as  to  give  life  instead 
of  destroying  flames.  When  he  looked  and  was  satisfied 
with  his  work,  he  had  Partridge  build  him  a  round  boat, 
and  in  it  he  sailed  up  to  the  sky.  Daily  since  then  he 
has  crossed  the  sky  and  looked  down  on  his  handiwork, 
but  his  round  boat  is  so  deep  as  well  as  so  dazzling  in 
colour  that  few  ever  catch  a  glimpse  of  him.  Sometimes 
the  Rain- Serpent,  which  is  the  greatest  of  sorcerers,  gets 
cross,  and  cuts  off  his  view  with  black  clouds  and  storms, 
but  Geechee  Manito-ah  bears  this  patiently,  because  of  a 
great  service  it  rendered  a  long  time  ago.  That  was 
when  he  came  down  to  earth  and  sat  down  in  a  lonely 
valley  to  make  some  arrows.  Rabbit,  who  is  himself  a 
sorcerer  of  power,  concealed  himself  in  a  little  whirlwind 
of  dust,  and  sped  by,  snatching  the  arrows  as  he  passed. 
With  one  of  these  he  wounded  Geechee  Manito-ah,  and 
the  wound  bled  so  much  fire  that  the  world  would  have 
been  burned  bare  again  had  not  the  Rain-Serpent  ex 
tinguished  the  flames  by  spitting  on  them.  This  brought 
a  new  peril,  which  Geechee  Manito-ah,  lying  sick  from 
his  wound  in  the  bottom  of  his  boat,  which  had  sailed 
up  to  the  sky,  did  not  notice.  Water  poured  all  over 
the  earth,  so  that  everything  was  submerged  except  a 
few  creatures  Partridge,  a  sorceress,  took  into  a  boat 
she  caused  magically  to  appear.  Rain-Serpent  would 
give  Partridge  no  help  when  she  tried  to  dry  up  the 
waters ;  so  she,  Antelope,  and  others  whose  names  are 
not  given,  besought  the  divers  and  swimmers  in  the  boat 
to  procure  a  little  earth.  All  refused  except  Muskrat. 
Thrice  he  dived  and  came  up  unsuccessful.  The  fourth 
time  a  little  mud  was  on  his  nose  as  he  appeared  on 
the  surface  of  the  waters,  but  he  was  dead  and  floating 
out  of  reach.  A  crow  flew  out,  caught  him,  and  dragged 
him  to  the  boat.  Partridge  and  the  other  sorcerers 
took  the  mud  from  his  nose,  resuscitated  him,  and  then 

38         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

set  to  work  to  make  a  new  land.  After  much  medicine- 
making,  they  caused  the  pellet  of  mud  to  spread  upon 
the  waters  ;  but  their  work  was  slow,  because  the  boat 
of  Geechee  Manito-ah  was  not  giving  them  light  and 
heat.  When  the  god's  health  improved  and  he  resumed 
his  journeys,  the  mud  dried,  grass  and  trees  grew  over 
it ;  those  in  the  boat  landed  and  sought  new  homes,  but 
nothing  was  quite  as  good  as  before,  and  to  this  day 
there  is  less  land  than  there  was  before  Rain-Serpent's 

Meechee  Manito-ah  is  not  very  active  in  mischief  him 
self,  though  he  was  in  the  old,  old  time ;  but  he  is  the 
father  and  author  of  all  mischievous  beings.  He  con 
sorted  with  witches,  and  they  became  the  mothers  of 
immortal  demons  and  devils.  From  his  sweat,  his  breath, 
his  saliva,  from  the  very  words  he  spoke  came  little 
malignant  spirits  that  cause  bad  dreams,  disease,  jealousy, 
melancholy,  quarrelsomeness,  all  the  bad  passions,  as  well 
as  misfortunes  and  sorrows.  They  can  ruin  a  man's 
health,  these  sprites,  separate  him  from  his  wife,  blight 
his  fields,  lame  or  kill  his  horses,  keep  his  pigs  from 
getting  fat,  and  cause  his  relatives  and  friends  to  hate 
and  slander  him.  Fortunately,  they  are  barred  from  their 
evil  work  a  part  of  the  year.  Cold  renders  them  torpid. 
At  the  first  frost  they  burrow  into  the  ground,  where 
they  remain  until  the  warmth  of  spring  releases  them. 
Because  of  this  peculiarity,  winter  with  all  its  discomforts 
is  welcomed  in  the  wigwam.  Then  it  is  that  one  may 
hear  the  folk-lore  of  the  tribe  recited,  for  then  no  tattling, 
mischief-making,  spiteful  sprites  are  listening  at  the  door 
or  darting  into  the  speaker's  open  mouth.  "  But  your 
people  sicken  and  die  in  winter,"  the  sceptic  urges. 
"  The  little  devils  creep  into  the  body  and  rest  there  a 
long  time  before  they  begin  their  mischief,"  the  Mus 
quakie  replies  ;  "  and  they  work  in  the  warm  body  when 
it  is  cold  outside  ;  that  is  why  when  one  of  our  people 

Beliefs.  39 

is  sick  he  pleases  the  little  devil  by  going  into  the  sweat- 
lodge  that  he,  the  devil,  may  come  near  to  the  skin. 
When  the  little  devil  is  near  to  the  skin,  then  if  one 
has  a  friend  to  break  the  ice  of  the  river  so  that  the 
man  may  run  quickly  from  the  sweat-lodge  and  jump  in, 
there  is  a  chance  that  the  little  devil  may  be  killed  by 
the  cold,  or  put  to  sleep  so  that  he  will  fall  out  of  the 
man's  skin." 

Meechee  Manito-ah  himself  seldom  meddles  with  men. 
He  lives  in  the  caves  with  the  wicked  dead,  and  rules 
over  them.  Some  hold  the  belief  that  he  was  killed 
by  his  wives  and  is  now  a  ghost ;  others  deny  this  and 
say  that  it  is  a  tale  invented  by  the  squaws. 

The  Totems  are  an  anomaly.  Every  Musquakie  claims 
descent  from  the  Brothers,  but  at  the  same  time  calls 
the  Totems  the  Ancestors,  or  Ancestral  Animals,  reveres 
them  as  a  Roman  Catholic  does  his  saints,  and  appeals 
to  the  Totem  of  his  clan  as  the  Catholic  does  to  his 
patron  saint.  Each  woman  belongs  to  a  Totem-society 
for  women,  but  she  does  not  pay  half  the  attention  to 
the  cult  that  the  men  do.  Perhaps  she  is  only  half 
hearted,  because  her  admission  is  not  for  life.  When  a 
girl,  she  belongs  to  her  father's  Totem  and  to  the  women's 
society  named  for  it.  If  her  father  dies  or  is  divorced 
she  goes  over  to  the  Totem  of  her  mother's  father  and 
joins  its  devotees.  When  she  marries  she  belongs  to  her 
husband's  Totem,  and  thus  again  she  changes  her  society. 
If  she  loses  him,  out  she  goes  again  and  returns  to  the 
cult  from  which  he  took  her,  to  stay  only  until  she 
contracts  another  matrimonial  alliance. 

A  man  keeps  to  his  Totem-society  for  life.  In  it 
are  many  mysterious  observances  a  squaw  would  give 
her  scalp-lock  to  see,  or  even  to  hear  described  ;  but  she 
never  has  seen  or  heard  anything,  and  she  never  will. 
It  is  known  that  each  of  the  seven  clan-societies  is  pre 
sided  over  by  a  shaman,  and  that  once  a  year  the 

4O         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

shamans  have  a  meeting  to  themselves,  during  which  they 
go  into  trances  and  consult  the  Ancestors,  who  are  the 
chief  and  original  shamans.  It  is  whispered  by  the 
squaws  that  some  one  of  the  seven  shamans  has  charge 
of  the  "  Mee-sham,"  a  mysterious  something,  given  to  the 
Brothers  by  the  Ancestors,  and  by  the  Brothers  presented 
to  Hee-to-gwaw,  the  first  Musquakie  man,  who  was 
born  from  Hot  Hand's  shoulder.  All  the  men  of  the 
tribe  know  what  the  Mee-sham  is  and  where  it  is  kept, 
but  no  man  has  ever  revealed  the  secret  to  a  woman. 
One  squaw  told  me  she  believed  it  to  be  the  skin  of 
Black  Wolf,  another  was  sure  it  was  a  parfleche  filled 
with  very  potent  "  medicine."  Still  another  had  made  up 
her  mind  that  it  was  a  roll  of  painted  skins,  something 
like  "winter  counts,"  but  telling  what  to  do  in  the  secret 
societies.  A  buck  said  :  "  What  for  you  ask.  Him  all 
same  like  your  Ark  to  Covenant." 

I  am  almost  afraid  to  refer  to  the  Indian's  belief  in 
ghosts,  it  is  so  very  comprehensive.  Lingering  far  from 
the  proper  abodes  of  spirits  are  not  only  the  ghosts  of 
very  old  and  very  young  people  who  could  not  find 
their  way  over  the  Ghost  Road,  even  if  started  by  a 
ghost-carrier,  but  also  the  ghosts  of  the  unburied  dead, 
of  murderers  whose  lives  were  not  ransomed  by  their 
friends,  of  those  who  caused  anyone  to  commit  suicide, 
thereby  destroying  his  immortality  (for  the  soul  of  a 
suicide  explodes  and  is  no  more),  together  with  a  vast 
array  of  animal  spooks  and  the  shades  of  raiment, 
implements,  stocks,  stones  et  cetera.  Some  of  these  are 
vampires  that  fear  nothing  but  fire.  They  generally 
appear  in  the  form  of  human  beings,  wolves,  or  porous 
stones.  Worse  still  are  the  cannibal  ghosts,  which  by 
day  appear  as  old,  mossy  logs  of  trees.  I  inquired 
particularly  if  these  were  not  demons  instead  of  ghosts, 
and  was  told  emphatically  that  they  were  ghosts. 



WHEN  you  have  learned  the  seasons  and  reasons  for  a 
Musquakie's  dances  you  have  little  further  information 
of  him  to  seek.  He  dances  for  health,  he  dances  for 
wealth — in  corn  and  ponies — he  dances  to  honour  his 
Manito-ah,  he  dances  to  please  the  Totems,  to  placate 
or  expel  the  devils,  he  celebrates  his  successes  and  strives 
to  retrieve  his  failures  by  dancing.  This  interests  the 
folk-lorist,  but  it  annoys  the  agent  and  missionary  so 
seriously  that  they  have  represented  to  the  Government 
that  it  is  impossible  to  christianize  and  civilize  this 
people  so  long  as  these  heathen  practices  are  permitted. 
In  consequence,  the  agent  has  been  allowed  to  forbid 
all  saltatory  exercises.  This  means  of  course,  that  here 
after  it  will  be  difficult  for  white  people  to  see  what  is 
bound  to  go  on.  For  this  reason,  I  am  glad  that  I  have 
a  full  list  and  a  tolerably  good  description  of  the  dances. 


First  in  importance,  though  last  in  the  age  of  its 
observance,  is  the  Religion  Dance  (Ow-wah-see-chee), 
sometimes  called  the  "  Dance  of  Remembrance,"  because 
it  commemorates  the  return  of  the  people  to  the  unfor- 
gotten  ways  of  their  fathers.  At  one  time,  their  faith 
was  Roman  Catholic,  Claude  Allouez  in  the  days  of  La 

42         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

Salle  having  made  converts  of  them,  or  rather,  having 
succeeded  in  grafting  an  adoration  of  the  saints  on  the 
old  totem-stock ;  but,  some  time  in  the  past  century, 
date  altogether  uncertain,  a  prophetess  of  the  Chippeways 
led  a  number  of  the  allied  tribes  back  to  the  ancient 
ways.  The  story  told  at  the  council  fires  is  in  substance 
as  follows : 

When  the  Northern  Band  of  the  Chippeways,  men, 
women,  and  children  together,  were  surprised  while 
out  on  a  hunt,  and  exterminated  by  the  Sioux,  they  all 
lay  dead  from  the  setting  of  the  sun  till  its  rising.  A 
beam  of  light  touched  the  face  of  the  prophetess,  whose 
name  is  too  sacred  to  be  spoken.  She  smiled,  stretched 
herself  and  opened  her  eyes,  as  one  having  dreamed 
pleasantly.  "  Get  up  and  take  the  drum,"  said  a  voice. 
She  raised  herself  on  her  elbow  and  looked  about.  She 
remembered,  for  she  saw  her  dead  people  destined  to 
be  slaves  in  the  spirit-land,  for  their  enemies  had  taken 
their  scalps,  or  if  not  slaves  to  be  dead  forever  if 
the  scalps  with  the  souls  at  the  roots  should  be  de 
stroyed.  "  Get  up  and  take  the  drum,"  repeated  the 
voice.  She  lifted  herself  to  her  knees  and  looked  at 
the  dead  people  again.  "  Get  up  and  take  the  drum.'* 
She  stood  on  her  feet  and  looked  up  at  the  sky,  but 
she  was  so  weak  she  fell  down.  "  Get  up  and  take 
the  drum,"  the  voice  said  it  the  fourth  time.  She  stood 
up.  She  saw  a  drum  and  twelve  drumsticks  at  her 
feet.  She  took  a  drumstick  and  began  to  beat.  The 
others  beat  on  the  drum,  they  beat  as  if  drummers 
held  them. 

"  Go  to  the  other  band  of  the  Chippeways,  go  to  all 
who  will  be  my  friends,"  said  the  voice.  She  hung  the 
drum  from  her  neck,  she  took  one  stick,  the  other  sticks 
hung  on  her  back.  She  walked  eighty  days  and  nights 
without  food  or  drink,  singing  and  praying  at  night, 
listening  to  the  instructions  of  the  voice  by  day,  and  not 

Religion  Dance.  43 

thinking  of  her  strength,  her  healed  wounds,  her  new 
growth  of  hair.  At  sunset,  on  the  eightieth  day,  she 
reached  the  survivors  of  her  people,  and,  calling  them 
together  by  the  roll  of  her  drum,  delivered  the  message 
that  the  few  who  had  kept  to  the  old  faith  were  to  pray 
to  Geechee  Manito-ah,  instead  of  asking  the  Animals 
to  pray  for  them,  though  the  Animals  should  receive 
honour  still,  while  those  who  had  gone  to  the  gods  of 
the  black  gowns  (priests)  were  to  take  leave  of  these 
gods  of  the  pale-faces,  with  good  words  and  kind  looks, 
and  return  to  the  old  faith.  "  Geechee  Manito-ah  is 
poor  in  mind  (sad),"  she  said,  "because  his  best  children 
keep  away  from  him  and  talk  only  to  the  Animals.  It 
is  right  to  make  feasts  for  the  Animals  and  to  talk  to 
them,  but  it  is  not  right  to  have  them  in  the  first  place. 
Also,  it  is  not  right  to  put  the  gods  of  the  black  gowns 
first,  because  they  are  white  gods  and  take  the  side  of 
the  white  people.  But  do  not  give  these  gods  the  bad 
heart  against  you  by  saying  ill  words  to  them ;  say  you 
will  not  trouble  them  with  your  business,  and  smile 
when  you  say  so  in  the  church,  and  go  away  and  make 
your  own  dance-house."  When  she  had  talked  thus  and 
had  shown  the  scars  of  her  wounds,  and  the  drum  and 
the  sticks  that  beat  of  themselves,  they  asked  many 
questions  and  heard  all  that  had  befallen  her.  Then, 
they  fasted  and  purified  themselves  in  the  sweat-lodge 
and  afterwards  prayed  to  Geechee  Manito-ah,  and  this 
made  them  all  of  one  mind,  so  that  they  staked  off  a 
dance-ground,  though  they  put  no  roof  over  it.  This 
pleased  the  woman  and  she  stayed  with  them  eighty 
days,  teaching  the  young  men  to  dance  and  putting  the 
older  ones  in  mind  of  all  that  the  Brothers  had  com 
manded.  Also,  she  told  the  people  to  sacrifice  the  white 
dog  to  Geechee  Manito-ah,  and  that  the  Religion  dance 
was  to  last  for  four,  seven,  or  twenty-one  days,  but  she 
did  not  stay  to  see  it  danced,  she  went  away,  no  one 

44         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

knows  where,  and  never  came  back.  She  did  not  go  to 
other  tribes  with  the  message  of  Geechee  Manito-ah,  she 
left  that  for  the  old  men  to  do,  the  old  men  who  are 
chiefs  or  sub-chiefs — not  the  shamans,  it  is  not  their  dance 
though  they  help  in  it. 

The  dance  begins  at  sunset,  and  with  an  intermission 
of  the  hours  between  midnight  and  dawn — a  very  short 
intermission  indeed  in  the  months  in  which  it  is  generally 
given — it  goes  on  night  and  day  for  the  four,  seven,  or 
twenty-one  days  prescribed,  as  the  person  who  gives  the 
dance  can  afford.  The  cost  is  not  such  a  serious  matter 
for  the  chiefs  who  have  to  give  the  dance  after  every  great 
council;  for  though  every  dancer — and  they  sometimes 
number  many  hundreds,  including  recruits  from  affiliated 
tribes — must  have  a  present  as  well  as  be  fed  on  the  fat 
of  the  land,  everybody,  dancers  included,  must  give 
presents  to  the  chiefs.  It  is  another  matter  when  a 
chief  gives  the  dance  for  a  member  of  his  family,  or 
when  any  tribesman  does  it.  Then  a  fortune  in  beads, 
blankets,  ponies,  and  provisions  is  expended.  For  weeks 
beforehand  the  honourable  women  are  busy.  They  help 
in  the  purchase  of  needful  articles,  ply  the  sacrificial 
white  dog,  and  the  young  ox  destined  for  the  first  night's 
feasting,  with  all  sorts  of  fattening  dainties,  offer  the 
use  of  their  own  best  cooking-pots,  help  with  the  sew 
ing  and  furbishing-up  of  the  gala-garments  of  the  children 
of  the  dance-giver,  and,  most  important  work  of  all, 
keep  a  sharp  eye  on  the  tribe's  own  dancers  lest  they 
eat  too  much,  and  pray  and  practise  their  steps  too 
sparingly.  While  they  are  thus  occupied,  the  chiefs  are 
sending  off  their  runners  to  invite  friendly  tribes  to 
attend  as  spectators  as  well  as  dancers,  taking  care  that 
the  giver  of  the  dance  is  mentioned  and  thus  sparing 
him  the  trouble  and  expense  of  messengers  to  any  one 
but  some  friend  for  whom  he  has  a  special  regard,  or 
to  whom  he  feels  under  an  obligation.  The  shamans 

Religion  Dance.  45 

and  other  important  members  of  the  secret  societies 
make  it  their  business  to  put  the  floor  of  the  dance-house 
(it  is  only  a  dance-ground  really)  in  order  by  spreading 
on  it  many  basket-fulls  of  fresh  earth,  and  by  repairing 
or  replacing  the  rough  benches  and  tree-stumps  that 
mark  its  circumference  and  serve  as  seats  for  the 
chiefs,  their  councillors,  important  visitors,  and  wearied 

The  first  to  arrive  on  the  day  appointed  are  the 
dancers,  young  men,  the  flower  of  one  or  several  tribes, 
very  much  bedizened  with  beads,  paint,  feathers,  and 
other  ornaments  beautiful  to  the  barbaric  eye,  and, 
having  been  on  short  rations  for  eighty  days,  very,  very 
hungry.  As  soon  as  those  privileged  to  do  so  are  seated 
on  the  benches  and  stumps  above-mentioned,  the  hungry 
ones  begin  to  dance,  or  rather  caper  first  on  one  foot 
then  on  the  other,  with  their  eyes  fixed  on  the  giver  of 
the  dance,  while  they  intone  "  yi-yi,  yi-yi,  yi~yi>  yi-yi " 
to  the  time  of  their  capering.  This  brings  the  honourable 
women  away  from  the  soup  pots,  bearing  bowls  of  broth 
from  which  they  dip  cupfuls,  and  present  them  to  the 
hungry  young  men.  As  the  broth  is  well  thickened  with 
lumps  of  fish,  flesh,  fowl,  dough,  and  eggs,  it  is 
undoubtedly  very  pleasing  to  the  palate  of  the  con 
sumers,  and  they  accept  cupful  after  cupful  without 
ever  pausing  in  their  steady  tramp,  or  seeming  to  pause 
in  their  chanting. 

At  sunset  the  cups  are  taken  away,  the  chief  stands 
up  facing  the  west,  and  begs  Geechee  Manito-ah  to 
accept  that  which  is  to  be  done  in  his  honour.  The 
invocation  finished,  the  two  great  drums  which  stand 
year  after  year  in  the  middle  of  the  dance-ground, 
excepting  when  they  are  taken  out  to  have  the 
ornaments  of  the  heads  renewed  by  the  woman  who 
has  reared  the  greatest  number  of  sons,  are  freed  from 
their  waterproof  wrappings,  and  each  surrounded  by  nine 

46         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

squatting  drummers.  The  old  war-post,1  on  each  side  of 
which  are  the  drums,  and  round  which  the  dancers  are 
to  gyrate,  has  had  its  coating  of  grease  and  charcoal 
scraped  off,  and  its  summit  adorned  by  a  United 
States  flag,  is  now  further  honoured  by  having  the 
three  extra  drumsticks  for  each  drum  propped  against 
it.  The  chief  lifts  his  hand,  and  at  the  signal  the 
drummers  pound  furiously,  but  though  the  great  log 
drums  with  rawhide  heads  give  out  a  tremendous 
booming  sound,  it  is  almost  lost  in  the  "  yi-yi,  yi-yi " 
accompaniment  of  dancers  and  spectators.  At  the 
instant  of  the  first  tap,  the  mob  of  dancers  resolves 
itself  into  a  wedge,  the  point  of  which,  next  the  drums, 
is  a  boy  of  high  degree  who  is  a  candidate  for  the 
Indian  toga  virilis,  the  gee-string  or  breech-clout.  He, 
poor  young  wretch,  leads  the  whirling,  stamping,  yi-yi-ing 
multitude  of  young  men  till  his  trembling  legs  double 
under  him,  when  his  place  is  taken  by  another 
unfortunate  candidate. 

I  have  been  asked  many  times  to  describe  accurately 
the  movements  of  the  dancers,  but  that  is  an  im 
possibility.  It  is  easy  enough  to  say  that  a  dancer 
stamps  twice  with  one  foot  while  he  holds  the  other  up, 
and  then  reverses  proceedings,  but  that  is  the  least  of 
his  labours.  Everybody  takes  the  same  "  steps "  from 
the  beginning  to  the  end  of  the  performance,  but  the 
evolutions  are  what  taxes  mind  and  muscle.  At  first 
they  are  rather  dignified,  but  speed  and  excitement 
increase  rapidly,  and  one  minute  the  beholder  sees  a 
flying  wedge,  the  next  a  single-file  procession  sweeping 
across  the  dance-ground  to  coil  itself  round  the  war- 
post  and  drummers,  only  to  uncoil  itself  and  in  some 
mysterious  fashion  radiate  like  the  petals  of  a  daisy 
from  post  to  boundary-line.  Then — you  don't  know  how, 

1  Sometimes  a  tree  denuded  of  all  but  its  top-most  branches  takes  the  place 
of  the  post. 

Religion  Dance.  47 

for  you  are  sure  you  never  looked  away,  or  even 
winked — there  are  before  you  two  lines  advancing  and 
receding  as  if  practising  a  compounded  reel  and  jig. 
Then  you  see  a  hollow  square,  a  solid  square,  a  wedge 
again,  and  so  on,  ad  infinitum,  while  the  old  men  stand 
up  and  trot  time  in  their  places,  the  honourable  women 
watch  everything  from  their  prayer-mats  between  the  old 
men  and  the  fire,  or  dart  in  and  out  of  the  maze  of 
dancers,  proffering  refreshments  or  carrying  off  empty 
cups,  and  a  shaman  surrounded  by  anxious  mothers  of 
candidates  is  whirling  like  a  top  as  he  does  his  two-step 
and  sings  his  yi-yi  outside  the  circle,  and  opposite  the 
honourable  women,  to  insure  success  to  the  sons  of  the 
mothers  aforesaid.  Now  and  then  the  flying  columns 
pause  abruptly,  and  the  drums  are  stilled,  and  so  are 
the  singers,  though  the  feet  of  the  dancers  continue  to 
keep  time  while  some  wise  man  drones  an  exhortation, 
or  some  penitent  declares  before  Manito-ah  and  men 
what  self-denial  he  will  practise  during  the  ensuing  year, 
or  some  soloist  chants  the  praises  of  the  god.  Then 
the  dancing  goes  on  more  furiously  than  ever. 

Presently  some  one  staggers  and  breaks  step.  He  is 
immediately  pushed  out,  and  his  place  taken  by  a 
waiting  dancer,  one  of  a  discontented  group  standing 
between  the  benches  and  awaiting  an  opportunity  like 
this.  There  are  such  little  groups  wherever  there  is  a 
break  in  the  circle,  but  not  many  among  them  will 
dance  the  first  night,  the  Indian  muscles  as  a  rule  being 
of  more  enduring  quality  than  his  white  brother's.  The 
drummers  suffer  most.  At  first  they  use  the  right  hand 
only,  pretty  soon  the  stick  is  grasped  in  both  hands,  a 
little  later  the  eyes  glaze  and  the  mouth  slavers,  and  a 
dancer  seeing  it,  and  regardless  of  his  ecstasy,  pushes 
him  aside  and  drums  till  in  turn  he  gives  out. 

At  midnight,  or  after,  the  din  ceases.  The  women 
go  to  the  tents,  the  men,  with  the  exception  of  the 

48         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

police  and  seven  watchers  for  the  dawn  (the  sub-chiefs), 
wrap  themselves  in  their  blankets  and  lie  down  to 
sleep  on  the  dance-ground,  and  near  the  fires. 

At  the  first  hint  of  dawn  the  watchers  take  a  drum 
to  a  hill  overlooking  the  encampment,  and,  standing 
with  their  faces  to  the  east,  begin  a  very  soft,  light 
tapping,  which  increases  in  volume  as  the  light  grows 
stronger.  As  the  edge  of  the  sun's  disk  appears  above 
the  horizon  the  beating  becomes  a  fury  of  booming, 
and  there  is  a  mighty  shout  from  the  watchers  and  the 
people  who  have  stolen  up  the  hill  behind  them.  Then 
with  arms  uplifted  they  chant  a  hymn  in  honour  of 
Geechee  Manito-ah  who  has  appeared  in  his  golden 
boat.  As  this  hymn  is  in  the  old  language,  and  the 
words  run  together,  I  never  could  understand  well 
enough  to  write  it  down,  and  no  one  would  do  it  for 
me,  esteeming  such  a  deed  a  sacrilege,  but  a  woman 
gave  me  what  she  called  "  the  sense  of  it."  Here  it  is  : 

"  Geechee  Manito-ah,  we  are  glad  you  come. 
We  are  glad  you  come  in  your  boat,  a  sign  to  us. 
We  are  glad  you  come,  pleased  to  see  our  dancers. 
We  make  the  feast  for  you. 
The  newly-cooked  food  is  uplifted  to  you. 
The  steam  of  the  hot  food  rises  for  you. 
The  dancers  dance  for  you  in  their  best  clothes,  the  trimmed  clothes 

of  the  old  time,  not  the  white  men's  clothes,  we  give  them  up. 
Our  feasts,  our  feathers,  our  sacred  ornaments,  our  silver  and  beads 

and  quills  and  shells  are  all  for  your  honour. 
We  sing  for  you,  we  beat  the  drum  for  you,  the  white  dog  is  your 

Please  to  accept  these  presents,   Geechee  Manito-ah,  and  favour 

us,  because  we  are  respectful  to  you." 

When  this  is  over  there  is  a  rush  for  the  fire  in  the 
middle  of  the  encampment,  for  beside  it  is  a  scaffold 
from  which  hangs  the  warm  and  palpitating  body  of  the 
white  dog  just  knocked  on  the  head  by  the  stone 
mallet  or  axe  in  the  hands  of  the  president  of  the 

Religion  Dance. ,  49 

women's  secret  society  of  one  of  the  clans.  The  man 
who  first  reaches  the  dog  whips  out  his  knife,  slashes 
open  the  body  and  tears  out  the  liver,  taking  care  to 
bring  the  gall  with  it,  which  he  then  pours  over  it  as  a 
sauce.  In  another  second,  the  liver  is  torn  to  bits  by 
the  dancers  and  each  of  them  manages  to  secure  a  frag 
ment  and  swallow  it.  Then,  the  heart  is  cut  up  and 
scrambled  for,  after  which  the  squaws  dress  the  carcass, 
wash  it  in  running  water,  replace  the  entrails,  wrap  it  in 
pawpaw1  or  walnut  leaves  and  partly  roast  it  in  the 

While  it  is  cooking,  the  dancing  goes  on,  but  in  rather 
desultory  fashion.  When  it  is  taken  up,  it  is  torn  into 
shreds  by  the  women,  and  the  old  men  see  to  it  that 
every  man,  woman,  and  child  has  a  taste.  The  bones 
and  hair  are  burned  and  the  ashes  given  to  the  head 

After  the  dog-feast  comes  breakfast,  consisting  of  soup, 
roasted  eggs  and  potatoes,  bread  baked  on  a  hot  stone. 
Before  it  is  partaken  of,  each  bowl  of  soup  and  platter 
of  solid  food  is  lifted  towards  the  sun,  but  this  is  nothing 
unusual.  It  is  the  Musquakie's  grace  before  meat,  never 
omitted.  I  should  have  said  in  a  preceding  paragraph 
that  the  woman  who  killed  the  dog  lifted  it  sunward 
before  she  allowed  it  to  be  torn  apart.  I  was  told  her 
hands  were  not  burned.  After  the  heave-offering,  breakfast 
is  taken  in  leisurely  fashion  by  those  sitting  on  the 
ground  or  the  sleeping-platforms ;  but  the  dancers  have 
theirs  as  they  dance,  from  sacred  vessels  of  great  age. 

This  first  dance  without  spectators  is  sometimes  more 
of  a  romp  than  the  old  men  like,  but  as  soon  as  the 
chiefs  and  their  retinues  take  their  places  it  goes  on  as 
it  did  before.  The  afternoon  is  as  the  morning,  a  steady 
business  of  feasting,  dancing,  preaching  and  vows  of 
abstinence ;  the  evening  is  as  the  afternoon ;  and  the 

1  Pawpaw,  Asimina  triloba. 

5o         folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

days  go  by,  one  like  another,  excepting  that  there  is  but 
the  one  dog-feast. 

When  the  great  dance  is  over,  those  who  were  in  tents 
return  to  their  wigwams,  those  who  stayed  in  their 
wigwams  set  them  in  some  sort  of  order,  the  dancers 
receive  their  presents  and  go  their  way,  but  this  is  not 
all :  there  follows  a  four  days'  Sabbath  on  the  reservation, 
that  every  one  may  have  time  to  meditate  on  what  has 
passed  and  "  get  the  good  heart "  from  it. 


The  Corn-planting  dance,  which  takes  place  in  April, 
though  the  real  corn-planting  is  about  the  first  of  May, 
is  of  great  moment  to  the  Musquakies,  though  of  little 
interest  to  the  on-looker.  It  is  danced  by  men  only. 
They  dance  or  trot  along  the  east  side  of  a  cornfield, 
going  in  single  file,  with  their  rattles  and  little  tam 
bourines  or  prayer-drums  keeping  time,  while  a  young 
maiden  goes  into  the  field  and  plants  a  few  grains  from 
a  perfect  ear  handed  her  by  the  honourable  women. 
Lucky  is  the  field  which  is  designated  by  the  shaman 
for  the  planting.  It  is  sure  to  have  a  more  abundant 
crop  than  its  neighbours.  Any  man,  old  or  young,  may 
take  part  in  this  dance  which  takes  place  at  sunrise.  If 
the  harvest  of  the  year  before  was  scant,  the  dancers 
may  go  entirely  around  the  field  instead  of  across  one 
end.  Afterwards,  there  is  some  eating  and  drinking,  but 
not  an  elaborate  feast.  It  has  been  stated  by  some  of 
the  Indians'  white  neighbours  that  dogs  were  sacrificed 
at  this  time.  This  is  a  mistake.  All  kinds  and  colours 
of  dogs  are  eaten  at  this  breakfast,  if  obtainable,  but  this 
is  because  they  are  considered  dainty  food.  Of  course, 
when  ready  for  consumption  they  are  lifted  towards  the 
sun,  but  so  is  all  the  other  hot  food. 

If  the  prematurely  planted  corn  comes  up  and  thrives, 

Corn-Planting  Dance.  51 

as  it  does  sometimes,  an   unusually  bountiful   harvest   is 

Some  of  the  old  men  explained  that  when  they  lived 
in  the  south  before  their  trouble  with  the  Shawnees,  the 
real  planting  of  the  fields  followed  the  ceremonial,  and 
no  food  was  eaten  until  the  women  were  done  planting. 
Another  old  custom  was  to  have  the  maid  who  did  the 
planting  given  a  husband,  who  went  with  her  into  the 
field.  Later,  a  prophet  had  a  revelation  that  this  custom 
should  be  abolished,  and  nobody  doubted  the  genuine 
ness  of  his  message  from  Manito-ah,  for  only  children 
born  nine  months  from  corn-planting — that  is,  from  the 
ceremonial  corn-planting — are  great  prophets,  and  he  was 
one  so  born.  The  day  is  at  the  present  time  a  favourite 

for  weddings. 


These  are  danced  to  all  outward  appearances  like  the 
Religion  Dance,  except  that  there  is  no  sacrifice  of  a  dog, 
and  the  number  of  dancers  in  each  is  small.  No  one 
takes  part  except  the  members  of  the  clan  secret  society. 
In  talking  to  white  people,  some  call  them  birthday 
dances,  as  they  are  meant  to  honour  the  chiefs  of  clans. 
Before  a  dance  begins,  the  chief  at  the  head  of  the  clan 
giving  it  receives  a  present  from  each  man  of  the  clan. 
He  is  not  much  the  richer  for  this,  as  he  must  make  a 
present  after  the  dance  to  every  one  who  has  taken  part 
in  it. 

The  Eagle  Dance  is  the  most  important  of  the  Totem 
Dances,  because  it  is  in  honour  of  the  head-chief.  I 
am  of  the  opinion  that  it  is  not  on  his  birthday  that  it  is 
given,  for  Totem  Dances  are  always  in  the  summer.  No 
body  will  believe  that  all  chiefs  and  sub-chiefs  are  born 
at  this  season. 

An  old  woman  told  me  that  when  she  was  a  little  girl 
those  who  took  part  in  the  Totem  dances  were  dressed 

5  2         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

to  look  like  the  Ancestral  Animal  whose  favour  was  thus 
secured,  but  their  appearance  was  so  dreadful  in  their 
suits  of  skins,  scales,  or  feathers,  and  the  masks  to  corre 
spond,  that  many  women  were  frightened  and  made  ill,  a 
state  of  affairs  very  bad  for  a  small  tribe  that  could  not 
afford  the  loss  of  women  and  babies.  What  to  do  the  men 
knew  not,  but  the  Totems  took  pity  on  them,  and  in 
dreams  warned  the  old  men  to  destroy  the  masks.  Since 
then  masks  have  been  painted  to  indicate  the  Totem. 


This  is  to  a  Musquakie  what  Thanksgiving  day  is  to 
a  Yankee,  or  the  feast  of  the  First  Fruits  to  a  Semite. 
It  generally  takes  place  in  August,  though  it  is  occa 
sionally  in  July  or  September,  if  the  maize  matures 
early  or  very  late.  When  it  is  supposed  to  be  "  in  the 
milk,"  the  head-chief  and  his  council  assemble,  at  day 
break,  round  a  fire  that  has  been  kindled  from  another, 
or  even  by  the  white  man's  matches,  and  give  orders  by 
the  mouth  of  some  one  of  the  sub-chiefs  to  whom  the 
head-chief  has  nodded  that  the  most  ancient  of  the 
honourable  women  are  to  bring  an  ear  for  inspection. 
Accordingly,  four  of  them  make  their  way  through 
the  dewy  cornfields,  and  at  sunrise  pluck  what  they 
consider  a  fair  sample  of  the  growth.  Wet  to  the  bone 
with  the  heavy  dew,  they  somehow  manage  to  run  back 
to  the  waiting  council  and  present  their  selection  with 
the  husk  undisturbed.  If,  on  examination,  the  ear  appears 
sufficiently  matured,  a  policeman  goes  over  the  reservation 
and  cries  the  good  news.  If  it  is  not,  the  honourable 
women  go  morning  after  morning  and  bring  an  ear 
until  one  is  received  which  is  satisfactory  to  the  council. 
When  the  good  news  has  been  cried,  the  squaws  bring  a 
vast  amount  of  fuel  and  the  sub-chiefs  light  the  fire, 
not  by  friction  as  one  might  expect,  but  by  throwing 

Green  Corn  Dance.  53 

blazing  brands  from  another  fire  on  the  dry  wood 
and  leaves  made  ready.  By  the  time  this  is  done,  women 
begin  to  arrive  with  great  sacks  of  the  green  corn  on 
their  backs.  Some  of  the  kernels  are  white  and  some 
are  blue.  The  blue  ones  are  carefully  detached  from 
the  "cob,"  until  enough  are  obtained  to  fill  a  queer  old 
copper  kettle,  holding  perhaps  four  or  five  quarts.  This 
is  placed  on  the  fire,  and  remains  there  until  the  con 
tents  are  burned  black,  the  shamans  meantime  dancing 
around  it  and  singing  songs  of  thanksgiving.  With  the 
cobs,  the  blackened  kernels  are  thrown  on  the  fire.  When 
both  are  consumed,  a  shaman  orders  the  women  to  ex 
tinguish  the  fire  by  throwing  sods  and  earth  upon  it. 
This  burnt-offering  is  supposed  to  be  very  acceptable  to 
Geechee  Manito-ah,  and  to  increase  the  fertility  of  the 
fields.  Again,  women  bring  fuel  to  the  spot,  the  chiefs 
light  a  fire  and  corn  is  cooked,  but  this  time  in  a  large 
vessel  and  with  plenty  of  water.  Other  fires  are  started 
at  the  same  time,  other  kettles  are  filled,  and  all  the 
men  except  the  shamans  dance  around  them  with  a 
horrid  din  of  rattles  and  singing.  The  shamans  stir  the 
kettles  and  decide  when  the  contents  are  cooked  suffi 
ciently.  When  the  stew  is  pronounced  ready  to  be  eaten, 
the  squaws  bring  out  wooden  bowls  and  spoons  and 
serve  the  officers  of  the  tribe  first.  After  they  have  held 
the  bowls  to  the  sun  and  begun  to  eat,  everybody 
feasts,  dipping  into  the  steaming  bowls,  a  half-dozen  at 
once,  with  spoons  or  fingers. 

The  dancing  and  feasting,  interrupted  now  and  then 
with  horse-racing,  gambling,  and  ball-playing,  go  on  for 
one  or  two  weeks,  but  it  is  a  playtime  for  the  men 
only.  After  the  first  kettlefuls,  the  squaws  do  the  cooking. 
Besides  what  they  cook  for  the  feast,  they  boil  and  then 
dry  in  the  sun  a  great  quantity  of  this  favourite  food, 
which  they  afterwards  pack  in  sacks  made  of  bark  and 
bury  in  deep  pits  lined  with  mats  made  of  tules  or 

54         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

rushes.  This  is  provision  for  winter,  but  some  is 
always  saved  until  the  time  of  the  dance  comes  round 
again  ;  for  it  is  prepared  at  a  holy  time,  and  is  there 
fore  the  best  possible  nourishment  for  the  sick. 

When  the  men  are  not  dancing,  the  women  sometimes 
take  some  steps,  but  not  in  single  file,  around  the  fire. 
They  go  to  a  little  distance  and  dance  in  pairs,  face 
to  face  and  clasping  each  other's  hands. 

Some  of  both  sexes  mark  their  faces  with  spots  or 
bands  of  white  paint,  but  I  could  not  find  out  that  it 
signified  anything.  A  girl  said  it  was  "  fun." 


This  is  a  most  extraordinary  and  disagreeable  cere 
monial  or  function,  or  whatever  you  choose  to  call  it. 
Perhaps  I  would  better  say  was  than  is,  for  at  present 
there  is  no  one  to  start  the  I-coo-coo-ah.  Until  a  year 
or  two  ago,  there  were  a  few  men  in  the  tribe  who 
dressed  in  women's  clothes  and  lived  in  wigwams  apart 
from  the  others.  They  were  said  to  be  the  unfortunates 
who  had  failed  to  strike  the  war-post  the  first  time  they 
attempted  it,  or  had  in  some  other  way  failed  to  come 
up  to  the  tribal  standard  of  manliness.  They  were  worth 
less  creatures,  nearly  always  drunkards,  and  always  un 
combed,  unwashed,  and  arrayed  in  rags.  They  did  no 
work,  made  no  visits,  never  spoke  to  a  woman.  They 
passed  their  time  in  gambling  with  one  another,  singing 
indecent  songs,  and  dozing  and  dreaming  from  the 
effects  of  swallowing  tobacco-smoke  or,  when  they  could 
get  it,  whiskey.  They  were  considered  "good  medicine" 
for  the  tribe  ;  and  the  women  insured  a  share  of  it  by 
leaving  cooked  food  and  bundles  of  wood  at  their  doors, 
when  no  one  was  observing.  Once  a  year,  a  feast  and 
dance  was  given  them,  at  which  some  of  the  young  men 
of  the  common  people  took  them  by  the  hands,  danced 

The  Woman  Dance.  5  5 

with  them,  insulted  them  by  pretended  love-making,  and 
finally  gave  them  presents  of  old  clothes  begged  or 
bought  from  the  squaws.  While  the  dance  was  in  pro 
gress,  the  on-lookers  of  both  sexes  kept  up  a  continual 
clapping,  and  shouted  "  I-coo-coo-ah "  and  "  Hoo-hoo, 
henow-chee-chee."  The  reason  the  dance  is  not  given  at 
the  present  time  is  that  these  make-believe  henow-och 
[women]  are  no  more  to  be  found  in  camp.  The  last 
appointees  refused  to  accept  the  place,  and  an  unwilling 
incumbent  would  be  "  bad  medicine." 


This  is  danced  by  the  young  men.  At  a  time  appointed 
by  the  old  men,  the  young  ones,  weapons  in  hand, 
assemble,  on  foot  or  mounted,  as  they  choose.  Then, 
running  with  all  speed  round  the  war-post,  they  aim  at 
it  with  knife,  hatchet,  arrow,  spear,  or  gun.  If  any  fail 
of  their  aim  they  retire  in  disgrace,  their  one  consolation 
being  that  they  may  have  food  after  the  four  days'  fast 
they  have  undergone.  The  successful  ones,  still  fasting 
and  amid  profound  silence,  steal  away  to  hunt  a  bear. 
Of  course,  this  is  a  mere  form  now,  but  once  this  was 
the  preliminary  to  the  hunt  of  the  buffalo,  deer,  antelope, 
and  all  the  larger  game.  When  a  bear  was  engaged,  the 
hunters  broke  silence  by  telling  it  how  they  respected  it 
and  hoped  that  it  would  allow  itself  to  be  killed.  When 
it  was  killed,  they  still  had  no  words  one  with  another ; 
they  took  the  body  to  the  encampment,  where  it  was 
scalped  and  every  portion  except  the  scalp  burned. 
This  was  because  the  bear  is  such  powerful  medicine  that, 
unless  one  has  been  killed  and  burned  as  a  sacrifice,  all 
the  animals  killed  or  hurt  by  the  hunter  will  at  once  be 
healed  and  run  away.  After  the  burning  came  the  dance, 
which  must  take  place  while  the  smoke  was  still  thick 
and  spreading  far  and  wide  to  neutralise  the  medicine  of 

56         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

other  bears  in  the  neighbourhood.  Only  the  hunters 
danced  around  the  dying  fire,  but  when  that  fire  was  out 
and  another  kindled,  everyone  feasted  by  it  on  such 
dried  stores  as  the  squaws  were  able  to  offer.  Now,  the 
pretended  hunters  pretend  to  bring  a  bear,  and  they  dance 
in  the  smoke  as  if  it  were  burning.  The  feast  that 
follows  is  a  poor  little  picnic,  at  which  the  refreshments 
are  mostly  tinned  goods  purchased  from  the  white 
man's  store,  and  dried  corn  boiled  with  grease  and 
sugar.  After  the  feast,  songs  of  thanksgiving  to  Meechee 
Manito-ah,  without  whose  aid  no  bear  could  be  killed, 
were,  and  are,  sung.  Last  of  all,  orations  praising  the 
dead  bear  were,  and  still  are,  chanted.  Then  follows  a 
hunt,  a  pretence  now. 


This  is  both  an  incantation  and  an  historical  drama. 
In  the  autumn,  the  Buffalo  Society,  composed  of  all  the 
shamans  and  nearly  all  the  important  men  without  their 
occult  powers,  give  this  dance,  which,  in  the  days  when 
game  was  plenty,  was  supposed  to  cause  the  herds  of 
buffalo  to  move  towards  the  hunters.  Now,  the  people 
think  that  if  ever  the  shamans  prove  to  be  as  great  as 
their  predecessors,  the  sod  of  the  pastures  will  roll  over 
as  if  plowed,  and  from  the  furrows  vast  numbers  of 
buffalo  will  leap. 

Secret  ceremonies  go  on  all  the  night  preceding  the 
dance,  in  the  wigwam  of  the  head-shaman,  all  the  shamans 
(that  means  three  men  and  a  youth)  taking  part.  All 
the  men  who  intend  to  dance  keep  watch  outside.  It  is 
the  privilege  of  as  many  as  can  crowd  about  the  door 
to  see  what  goes  on  inside,  and  they  take  turns  as  spec 
tators.  If  one  should  tell  a  woman  of  the  mysteries,  he 
would  be  paralyzed. 

At    dawn,   the   men,   with    bows    and    arrows    in    their 

Buffalo  Dance.  57 

hands,  dance  away  from  the  wigwams  toward  the  open 
fields,  singing  as  they  go  an  invitation  to  the  buffalo  to 
appear  and  allow  themselves  to  be  killed  for  the  benefit 
of  the  tribe. 

While  the  men  are  dancing  away  toward  the  fields, 
the  shamans  stand  before  the  lodge,  their  horned  bonnets 
on  their  heads  and  wands  in  their  hands,  while  they 
dance  and  pray  without  moving  from  their  places.  So 
sure  are  they  that  their  prayers  will  be  heard,  that  they 
mix  a  disgusting  bitter  drink  in  a  buffalo  medicine-horn, 
and  drink  it  the  day  before  the  dance,  that  their 
stomachs  may  be  quite  empty  when  the  hunters  come 
back  with  the  meat. 

When  the  sun  has  been  up  an  hour  or  two,  the 
men  dance  back,  looking  over  their  shoulders  to  see 
if  the  expected  quarry  is  following.  They  are  greeted 
by  the  lamentations  of  the  women,  who  profess  to  be 
amazed  that  the  men  were  not  good  enough  to  work 
the  miracle  that  is  attempted  year  after  year. 


After  the  Bear  and  Buffalo  dances  comes  the  Discovery 
dance,  but  it  is  not  of  any  great  importance.  The 
men  dance,  not  in  single  file,  but  two  or  four  abreast, 
to  some  eminence,  where  they  bend  forward  and  peer, 
with  a  hand  above  the  eyes,  as  if  searching  for  game. 
Presently  they  wave  a  blanket  as  a  signal  to  those 
below  that  they  have  discovered  what  they  sought. 
Then  they  race  madly  to  where  they  have  left  their 
horses  in  readiness,  mount  in  hot  haste,  and  gallop  off. 
When  they  have  ridden  a  few  miles  they  return  to 
their  friends.  The  rest  of  the  day  is  given  up  to 
horse-racing,  ball-playing,  and  gambling. 

58         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 


The  Young  Dogs'  dance  was  taught  by  the  Animals 
to  a  young  man  who  was  out  hunting,  saw  a  strange 
animal,  pursued  it,  lost  his  way,  and  fell  into  a  hole.  He 
fell  a  long  way,  and  became  insensible.  When  he 
recovered  consciousness  he  found  himself  in  a  cave, 
with  the  Animals  sitting  round  him  smoking.  They 
told  him  the  mysteries  for  a  secret  society,  gave  him  a 
pot  of  paint  [I  don't  know  why  they  did  not  give  him 
three.  They  paint  their  faces  with  stripes  of  red, 
yellow,  and  green],  and  taught  him  the  Young  Dogs' 
dance.  To  a  certainty  they  might  have  been  better 
employed,  for  the  Young  Dogs,  who  have  a  shaman 
of  their  own,  repair  to  his  wigwam  for  four  successive 
nights  before  the  dance,  and,  in  obedience  to  the  behests 
of  the  Animals,  make  night  hideous  with  their  howling 
and  barking.  What  else  they  do  no  outsider  knows. 
They  sacrifice  two  white  dogs  to  Meechee  Manito-ah 
on  the  morning  of  the  dance.  The  breath  and  steam 
of  the  sacrifice  are  the  share  of  the  god,  the  Young  Dogs 
divide  the  hearts,  livers,  and  gall  among  themselves,  and 
give  the  carcases  to  the  spectators,  who  partly  roast 
them  in  ashes  covered  with  hot  coals.  No,  they  are 
not  really  roasted,  they  are  heated  for  a  few  minutes, 
so  that  Manito-ah's  share  may  be  large.  Every  one 
present  gets  a  small  morsel.  The  dancing  follows  the 
dog-feast,  and  is  not  around  a  central  object,  but  in  a 
procession.  It  is  kept  up  as  long  as  those  taking  part 
can  keep  moving,  and  abstain  from  food  and  water. 
Sometimes,  before  the  dancing  begins,  the  Young  Dogs 
go  about  the  reservation,  or  even  into  the  streets  of  the 
towns  near  by,  and,  while  barking  like  dogs,  hold  out 
their  hands  for  presents. 

Horses  Dance.  59 


When  visitors  arrive  at  the  reservation  with  horses  that 
take  the  fancy  of  the  Musquakie  braves,  the  latter, 
after  openly  expressing  their  admiration,  offer  to  allow 
themselves  to  be  "  danced  at,"  each  one  indicating  the 
horse  that  is  his  price.  If  the  offer  is  accepted  those 
who  make  it  kindle  a  great  fire  and  sit  around  it  smoking. 
The  owners  of  the  coveted  animals,  having  provided 
themselves  with  whips,  or  stout  switches,  dance  about 
the  ring  of  smokers,  and  strike  them  on  their  backs 
and  shoulders.  The  smokers  continue  to  draw  their 
pipes  and  converse  at  intervals  as  if  nothing  unusual 
were  taking  place.  At  the  end  of  a  quarter  or  half 
an  hour,  if  no  one  has  made  an  outcry,  the  horses  are 
delivered  to  those  who  were  whipped  for  them,  who, 
after  greasing  their  hurts,  put  on  their  shirts  (the  blows 
must  fall  on  naked  bodies),  mount  and  gallop  about  the 
reservation  whooping  in  triumph. 

If  a  man  finds  the  blows  too  thick  and  heavy  to  be 
borne,  he  may  say  he  must  go  to  his  wigwam  for  some 
thing  he  needs,  or  make  any  other  excuse  to  withdraw, 
and  no  one  thinks  the  less  of  him  ;  but  should  he  wince, 
or  give  any  sign  whatever  that  he  suffers,  he  is  dis 
graced  and  much  jeered  at,  especially  by  the  women. 


This  is  now  only  a  bit  of  acting  to  illustrate  some 
story  told  by  the  historian  or  old  men,  or  else  it  finishes 
out  some  ceremonial  such  as  carrying  away  the  dead. 
The  young  men  dress  themselves  handsomely,  mount 
their  ponies,  ride  away,  and  ride  back  at  a  time  agreed 
upon.  In  their  hands  they  carry  horse-tails,  tufts  of 
hair  procured  from  a  pale-face  barber's  shop,  as  well  as  a 
stray  scalp  or  two  taken  from  a  bear  or  redskin.  The 

60         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

girls,  in  their  best  apparel,  go  to  meet  them,  advancing 
in  long  rows,  waving  their  arms  and  sliding  their  feet 
along  the  ground.  The  men  present  their  trophies,  the 
girls  receive  them,  begin  to  dance  and  burst  into  songs 
of  triumph  that  extol  the  deeds  of  the  hero  just 
mentioned  by  the  story-teller,  or  the  prowess  of  the 
whole  tribe.  The  effect  is  very  striking,  as  the  gaily- 
dressed  young  men  cause  their  painted  and  be-ribboned 
ponies  to  prance  and  curvet,  and  the  girls,  still  more 
resplendent  in  the  bravery  of  silver,  bead  and  quill 
ornaments,  dance  forward  and  backward  again  and 


The  dance  to  a  dead  man's  "medicine"  takes  place 
the  morning  after  his  death,  if  possible.  Of  course,  if  he 
dies  in  the  morning,  instead  of  during  the  evening  or 
night  as  he  should,  it  must  be  in  the  afternoon.  The 
widow  hangs  the  "  medicine,"  which  she  has  taken  from 
the  scalp-lock  of  the  deceased,  if  he  died  of  a  lingering 
complaint,  or  from  under  his  arm,  if  his  soul  was 
required  suddenly,  on  a  pole  in  front  of  his  wigwam  door. 
This  done,  she  sits  in  the  doorway  and  weeps  noisily  the 
while  she  tears  her  face  with  her  nails,  or  a  bunch  of 
thorns.  This  is  a  signal  for  the  young  men  in  training 
for  the  Religion  dance  to  dance  past  the  "medicine" 
again  and  again,  and  sing  songs  commemorating  his 
peaceful  virtues  and  the  war-like  ones  of  his  ancestors. 
After  several  hours  the  widow  puts  a  stop  to  the 
performances  by  taking  the  "medicine"  and  placing  it 
on  the  breast  of  the  corpse  lying  in  state  in  the 

It  is  a  bad  dance  for  the  tribe.  Like  the  Scalp 
dance,  it  leaves  the  people  not  only  sad,  but  sullen  and 

The  Young  Servants   Dance.  61 


There  are  always  young  men  in  the  tribe  who  dislike 
such  offices  as  those  of  messengers,  policemen,  attendants 
on  the  elders,  etc.  To  get  rid  of  these  for  ever,  they  stand 
behind  the  councillors  and  declare  themselves  the  servants 
of  the  tribe  for  two  years.  Nobody  says  anything  at  the 
time,  but  they  are  none  the  less  bound.  They  are  sent  on 
anybody's  errands.  If  a  man  has  a  lame  hand  or  foot,  he 
is  at  liberty  to  summon  one  of  them  to  cut  his  tent-poles 
or  firewood  for  him,1  to  curry  his  horses,  to  sharpen  his 
knives,  to  do  anything  that  is  a  man's  work.  Any  dis 
abled  man,  any  widow  may  command  his  services.  At  the 
end  of  the  two  years  he  and  the  friends  who  volunteered 
with  him  celebrate  their  emancipation  by  a  feast,  to  which 
all  their  relatives  contribute,  and  a  dance  to  the  music 
of  their  rattles  and  little  tambourines  or  prayer-drums. 


The  young  men — the  reckless  ones,  that  is — have  a 
secret  society,  of  which  the  only  public  observance  is  a 
dance,  accompanied  by  a  very  pretty  imitation  of  bird- 
songs  and  much  waving  and  flapping  of  arms  and  blankets. 
They  go  from  wigwam  to  wigwam,  and  sing  and  dance  till 
some  one  brings  out  refreshments.  No  woman  seems  to 
know  whether  the  Birds'  Society  is  anything  more  than  a 
social  organisation  or  not.  Whatever  it  is,  it  should  be 
suppressed.  If  a  young  fellow  is  a  pretty  good  sort  of  a 
youth  when  he  goes  into  it,  he  is  soon  transformed  into  a 
lazy,  quarrelsome  young  vagabond.  It  takes  something 
from  the  standing  of  the  most  exemplary  tribesman  to 
say,  "  He  used  to  be  a  Bird." 

1  Bringing  home  poles  and  wood  is  the  woman's  business. 

62         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 


When  poor  girls  are  of  an  age  to  be  married,  and  have 
no  one  to  give  them  clothes  or  make  feasts  for  them,  the 
head-chief,  after  consultation  with  his  wise  men  as  to  a 
convenient  season,  sends  out  runners  to  invite  members  of 
the  tribe,  friendly  tribes,  and  even  pale-faces  to  attend  the 
Presents  or  Dower  dance.  On  the  appointed  evening  the 
dowerless  ones  sit  together  on  a  mat  by  the  camp-fire,  and 
any  man  may  take  out  any  one  of  them  and  dance  with 
her,  moving  backwards  and  drawing  her  after  him  by  her 
hands.  He  must  first  drop  a  present  in  her  lap,  which  is 
taken  charge  of  by  a  woman  who  acts  as  a  sort  of  sponsor 
or  chaperon.  If  for  any  reason  a  girl  is  unwilling  to  dance 
with  one  who  has  thrown  her  a  present,  she  may  make  a 
sign  to  her  sponsor,  who  will  return  the  present.  Any  girl 
may  dance  if  a  present  is  given  her,  but  she  must  give  it  to 
one  of  the  dowerless  ones. 

Long  ago  the  young  men  had  a  Presents  dance,  at 
which  they  danced  in  a  row  before  visitors,  at  the  same 
time  singing  a  begging  song,  but  of  late  years  this  has 
been  interdicted  by  the  councils. 



THE  shaman  has  every  other  act  and  ceremony  of  the 
tribe  kept  in  his  memory  by  a  glance  at  the  knotted 
string  which  serves  him  in  lieu  of  a  list  of  fees,  but  he 
has  no  reason  to  consult  it  for  memoranda  of  what  goes 
on  in  and  about  the  birth-house.  The  fee-taker  for  all 
that  pertains  to  that  tiny  edifice  is  the  "  woman-with- 
spots-on-her-face."  The  Indian  mother  builds  her  little 
birth-house  of  bark  or  tules,  according  to  the  season, 
puts  a  few  armfuls  of  hay  and  a  blanket  in  the  north 
west  corner  of  it,  starts  a  fire  in  the  middle,  and  places 
on  it  a  soup-pot.  Then  she  waits,  but  not  alone.  Two 
or  three  women-friends  are  in  attendance  to  keep  her 
mind  off  her  troubles  by  chatting  pleasantly,  and,  when 
it  becomes  necessary,  to  run  for  the  woman-with-spots- 
on-her-face.  If,  by  any  mischance,  a  woman  has  not  a 
birth-house  ready  at  the  time  it  is  needed,  her  women 
friends  hurry  the  inmates  of  her  home  into  theirs,  along 
with  the  bedding,  utensils,  clothes,  weapons,  and  orna 
ments,  leaving  her  mistress  of  the  mansion  and  one 
blanket  and  pot.  This  is  inconvenient  but  necessary, 
for  "  born-in-the-fields,"  that  is,  out  of  doors,  is  a  dis 
grace.  To  apply  the  epithet  to  a  Musquakie  is  equiva 
lent  to  calling  a  white  man  a  liar.  It  is  not  a  disgrace 
to  be  born  in  the  family  wigwam,  but  it  is  unlucky  for 

64         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  child ;    it  is  sure  to  die  before  its  parents   if  it   has 
had  no  house  of  its  own. 

When  the  woman's  hour  has  come,  one  of  her  friends 
goes  with  all  speed  for  the  woman-with-spots-on-her- 
face.  This  is  the  woman  who  at  puberty  received  the 
roughest  usage  and  had  the  greatest  number  of  Religion 
dances  given  in  her  honour,  each  dance  entitling  her  to 
have  a  vermilion  spot  painted  on  her  countenance.  When 
the  messenger  reaches  her  and  announces  that  her  friend 
is  in  need  of  her  assistance,  she  of  the  spots  pays  no 
heed,  she  sits  and  rocks  herself  back  and  forth  while 
she  sings  "  yi-yi,  yi-yi,"  as  do  the  men  in  the  Religion 
dance.  In  vain  does  the  messenger  seek  to  attract  her 
attention  by  speech  hard  or  soft,  she  is  deaf  to  all 
sound  save  her  own  singing.  After  awhile,  comes  another 
messenger.  She  is  also  unsuccessful.  Then  arrive  a 
third  and  a  fourth.  When  the  fourth  makes  an  im 
passioned  appeal,  the  woman-with-the-spots-on-her-face 
starts  up  as  from  a  trance  and  cries  out:  "Now,  it  is 
finished !  Let  us  go  to  the  happy  mother  and  child ! " 
Sure  enough  all  is  finished,  as  the  quintette  discover 
when  they  reach  the  birth-house.  The  woman-with-the- 
spots-on-her-face  steps  into  the  birth-house,  takes  one 
look  and  steps  out  again  to  raise  a  piercing  cry  that 
summons  all  the  women  on  the  reservation  not  already 
in  attendance,  and  the  father.  The  women  mass  them 
selves  before  the  door  and  the  father  sneaks  around  to 
the  back  of  the  house.  The  woman-with-the-spots-on- 
her-face  slits  a  hole  in  the  back  of  the  house  and  hands 
out  the  naked  baby  for  the  father's  inspection.  When 
he  has  handed  it  back  and  slipped  away  from  the  neigh 
bourhood,  she  of  the  spots  stands  in  the  door  and  calls 
aloud  the  name  she  has  given  the  infant,  one  which  must 
indicate  its  father's  clan.  For  instance,  an  Eagle's  child, 
if  a  boy,  might  be  called  Grey  Eagle,  or  War  Eagle, 
or  Hawk,  any  bird  of  strength  and  fierceness,  or  any 

Birth  and  Infancy.  65 

part  of  such  a  bird,  as  Tall  Feather,  Strong  Beak,  etc. ; 
while  a  girl  might  be  Singing  Bird,  Little  Duck,  Pretty 
Wing,  or  any  small  bird  or  one  of  its  component 

After  the  naming,  the  mother  goes  to  the  river  and 
bathes  herself  and  child — sometimes  killing  herself  and 
it  if  the  weather  is  bad.  As  she  goes  to  and  from  the 
bath,  the  men  are  careful  to  keep  out  of  the  way.  If 
a  man  should  meet  her,  he  would  have  to  seclude  himself 
during  the  time  she  remains  in  the  birth-house.  She 
remains  in  it  thirty  days  for  a  boy,  forty  for  a  girl. 
During  this  time  she  is  visited  at  rare  intervals  by  some 
woman  who  makes  it  her  business  to  bring  food  from 
the  husband's  wigwam.  At  the  end  of  it  she  bathes 
herself  and  baby,  burns  up  the  birth-house  and  its  con 
tents,  sprinkles  herself  and  baby  with  the  ashes,  and 
goes  back  to  her  husband. 

She  nourishes  her  child  at  the  breast  until  it  is  three 
years  old,  or  even  four  or  five.  She  has  the  sole  con 
trol,  but  not  the  sole  care,  of  it  until  it  is  five  years  old 
if  a  boy,  seven  or  eight  if  a  girl.  Indian  fathers — Mus- 
quakie  Indian  fathers  at  least — are  exceedingly  fond  of 
their  infants  and  are  at  the  beck  and  call  of  the  little 
tyrants,  who  learn  to  abuse  their  privileges  long  before 
they  learn  to  talk,  night  and  day.  As  the  old  division 
of  labour  was  that  the  man  should  be  the  hunter  and 
provide  the  meat,  while  the  woman  should  till  the 
fields  and  provide  the  bread  ;  and  as  the  old  rules  pre 
vail,  though  conditions  have  changed  and  the  game  is 
all  dead,  it  follows  that  a  man  has  more  time  to  devote 
to  his  children  than  has  their  mother. 

While  under  training  age,  the  little  ones  are  indulged 
and  petted  as  few  white  children  are.  Only  one  command 
is  laid  upon  them  :  they  must  not  speak  in  the  presence 
of  the  old  men,  whether  related  to  them  or  not.  If  they 
disregard  this  law  of  laws,  they  are  punished,  not  by 

66         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

flogging,  but  by  having  bowls  of  cold  water  poured  over 

The  Musquakie  infant  has  few  toys.  The  girl  has  a 
doll,  made  by  her  mother  and  pow-wowed  by  the  shaman, 
which  she  carries  by  day  and  snuggles  in  her  blanket 
at  night.  The  boy  has  a  bow  and  blunt  arrows  with 
which  he  learns  to  kill  field-mice  and  birds.  Both  learn 
to  ride  almost  as  soon  as  they  learn  to  walk,  sticking 
on  the  pony's  back  with  the  aid  of  a  saddle-horn,  or 
a  twist  of  rope  into  which  they  can  tangle  their  toes. 
Both  have  pet  dogs  for  which  they  fight  and  howl 
valiantly  when  "  company "  comes  to  dinner,  and  which 
they  generally  manage  to  keep  out  of  the  pot. 

An  infant  has  no  "  medicine "  of  its  own,  though  it 
wears  a  few  talismans  of  beads  or  silver  made  by  its 
mother  or  the  silversmith  under  the  supervision  of  the 
shaman.  These  talismans  are  most  of  them  intended 
to  protect  the  soul  instead  of  the  body.  Baby's  soul 
does  not  travel  while  the  body  sleeps,  as  it  will  when 
it  is  older,  unless  it  sleeps  with  its  mouth  open.  In 
that  case  the  soul  is  likely  to  escape  in  the  form  of  a 
moth  or  butterfly  and  not  know  how  to  return.  To 
prevent  this  calamity,  some  mothers  tie  on  talismans, 
and  others,  more  prosaic,  tie  a  string  under  its  chin  and 
over  its  crown.  If  it  should  be  ill,  the  mother  fastens 
her  "medicine"  in  its  scalp-lock. 



As  soon  as  a  boy  is  weaned  from  his  mother's  breast, 
and  that  is  when  he  is  four  or  five  years  old,  he  belongs 
to  his  father,  or,  if  his  mother  is  a  widow  or  divorced, 
to  her  father,  if  she  has  one  living,  and  if  she  has  not, 
to  her  nearest  male  relative.  From  being  the  most 
conceited,  care-free  pet  imaginable,  he  becomes  a  boy  of 
many  griefs  and  trials,  and  he  may  not  run  to  mamma 
for  consolation  ;  that  would  disgrace  him  forever.  He 
is  compelled  to  keep  long  vigils,  to  fast  and  look  on 
while  others  feast,  is  sent  on  errands  in  the  dark,  which 
he  has  been  told  swarms  with  mischievous  little  devils 
and  cannibal  ghosts,  is  set  to  ride  unbroken  colts,  thrown 
into  the  river  to  swim  ashore  as  best  he  may,  is  kept 
in  the  burning  sun  of  summer  and  exposed  to  the  fury 
of  storms  and  the  bitterness  of  midwinter  cold.  All  these 
trials  go  on,  not  constantly,  but  intermittently,  till  he 
is  fourteen. 

During  the  nine  years  of  novitiate,  the  training  from 
month  to  month  and  year  to  year  grows  more  severe 
and  continuous.  The  fasts  that  at  first  were  deprivation 
from  one  meal  lengthen,  till  they  stretch  over  days  and 
nights  of  abstinence  from  both  food  and  water;  and  other 
hardships  increase  in  proportion.  In  addition,  his  father 
has  spent  what  he  can  to  obtain  the  goodwill  and 
assistance  of  the  shaman  towards  making  the  boy  a 

68         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

fine  man,  this  assistance  consisting  outwardly  in  the 
shaman's  spinning  round  and  round  before  the  door  of 
the  sweat-lodge  after  he  has  been  sweated,  and  singing 
prayers  and  flattery  to  the  boy's  totem.  Also,  the  father 
gives  as  many  Religion  dances  as  he  can  afford,  and, 
during  the  last  year  of  the  trial,  has  him,  for  eighty 
days,  taught  to  lead  the  Religion  dance.  Finally,  comes 
the  nine  days'  fast,  during  which  the  poor  young  wretch 
wanders  solitary  in  the  woods,  dreams  feverish  dreams 
supposed  to  be  prophetic,  and  one  special  dream  which 
tells  him  what  his  "medicine"  is  to  be,  and,  sometimes, 
what  his  vocation  is.  Before  the  fast  is  over,  it  is 
incumbent  upon  him  to  find  the  thing  which  constitutes 
his  medicine,  obtain  possession  of  some  part  of  it  without 
causing  its  death  or  destruction,  and  place  this  part 
obtained  in  a  little  bag,  to  be  worn  under  the  left  arm. 

Self-torture  is  not  now  inflicted,  nor  is  the  candidate 
for  manhood  whipped  by  the  chief  of  his  clan,  as  in 
days  of  yore.  Somebody  had  a  revelation  that  this  was 
to  be  done  away  with,  very  likely  the  chief  of  a  large 
clan,  for  it  is  told  that  the  chiefs  used  to  have  lame 
arms  from  their  exertions  with  the  quirt. 

The  morning  after  the  head-chief's  council,  as  soon 
as  the  divorces  are  disposed  of,  the  candidates,  still 
fasting,  appear  in  the  circle  called  the  dance-house. 
Sometimes  the  old  black  war-post  is  in  the  middle  in  its 
nakedness,  sometimes  it  is  surmounted  by  a  flag.  In 
either  case,  if  the  old  custom  is  to  be  observed,  and  it 
is  seldom  that  it  is  not,  the  youths  begin  the  day  by 
striking  the  post.  With  whatever  weapon  they  choose 
in  their  hands,  and  mounted  on  bridled  but  unsaddled 
ponies,  they  essay  their  fortune.  The  shaman  follows 
them,  but  stops  outside  the  sacred  enclosure  and  turns 
round  and  round,  reciting  prayers  for  their  success.  The 
chiefs  and  councillors  take  seats  at  the  posts  that  mark 
out  the  great  circle,  the  rest  of  the  tribe  stand  and  look 

Puberty.  69 

on  from  outside.  At  a  signal  from  the  head-chief,  the 
youths  set  out  in  a  furious  gallop  around  the  post,  and 
shoot  bullets  or  arrows,  or  fling  knives  or  hatchets,  at  it. 
Round  and  round  they  go  until  a  signal  is  given  to  stop. 
Then,  the  war-post  is  examined,  and  as  every  missile 
has  its  owner's  mark  on  it,  it  is  soon  known  if  any  one 
has  failed  in  his  aim.  If  any  one  has  failed — this  seldom 
happens — he  is  never  reckoned  a  man.  The  successful 
ones  are  next  sent  on  a  pretended  bear-hunt.  Then 
follows  the  Bear  dance,  and  later,  another  pretended 
hunt  which  gives  the  young  actors  in  the  tribal  drama 
an  opportunity  to  go  to  their  wigwams  to  rest  until 
sundown,  when  they  must  take  part  in  a  Religion  dance. 

When  the  post  is  not  struck  by  the  candidates,  the 
chiefs  and  old  men  substitute  for  the  ceremony  an  ex 
amination  into  their  healths,  skill,  and  accomplishments. 
Several  hours  are  passed  in  riding,  throwing,  shooting, 
and  wrestling,  after  which  they  stand  in  a  row  and  promise 
to  be  faithful  friends  and  tribesmen,  to  avenge  all  wrongs 
against  their  people,  to  revere  the  Ancestral  Animals 
and  the  memory  of  the  great  men  who  have  gone  to 
the  spirit-land,  and  to  say  many  prayers  to  Meechee 
Manito-ah.  These  make  no  pretence  of  hunting ;  after 
the  examination,  they  go  to  their  homes  and  sleep  till 
time  for  the  Religion  dance. 

The  dance  lasts  till  midnight.  The  youths  sleep  on 
the  floor  of  the  dance-house  from  midnight  till  dawn, 
and  wake — men  ! 

This  day,  each  new  man  who  can  afford  it  has  a  feast, 
to  which  all  men  of  his  totem  are  bidden. 

The  girl's  training  is  not,  as  a  rule,  so  severe  as  her 
brother's.  From  the  time  she  is  seven  she  has  her  fast 
days,  is  inured  to  extremes  of  heat  and  cold,  and  has 
her  courage  tested  by  being  sent  on  errands  after  night 
with  no  guard  but  her  mother's  "medicine"  and  her  own 
little  talismans  ;  but  her  hard  usage  is  not  so  hard,  nor 

7o         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musqiiakie  Indians. 

so  frequently  repeated,  as  a  boy's,  unless  it  is  the  ambition 
of  her  parents  to  make  her  a  medicine-woman  of  renown, 
in  which  case  her  life  is  to  be  described  as  strenuous, 
though  she  considers  that  she  has  ample  compensation 
in  the  Religion  dances  given  for  her.  For  each  dance 
she  is  entitled  to  wear  a  round  red  spot  on  her  face, 
and  great  is  the  deference  shown  her  by  her  companions 
because  of  these.  They  mean  much  respect  from  her 
elders  also,  and  easy  admission  into  the  medicine-society 
when  she  is  a  young  woman,  good  luck  for  her  and  by 
means  of  her  all  her  days,  and  a  place  of  honour  almost 
equal  to  the  shaman's  when  she  is  old. 

When  she  is  twelve  or  fourteen,  or,  rarely,  when  she 
is  eight  or  nine,  she  is  secluded  for  a  week  with  an  old 
woman,  in  a  little  hut  built  by  her  mother.  The  old 
woman's  business  is  to  keep  her  from  getting  out,  to  see 
to  it  that  she  has  very  little  food  or  water,  to  hang  on 
her  a  new  fetich,  bought  from  the  shaman,  each  day,  and 
to  sing  prayers  for  her  all  the  time  both  can  keep 

At  the  end  of  the  week,  the  old  woman  receives  a 
blanket  or  pony  for  pay,  the  girl  is  brought  out,  washed, 
dressed  in  new  clothes  and  given  a  feast  to  which  all 
her  relatives  male  and  female  are  invited.  The  women 
and  girls  give  her  presents  of  small  value,  but  the  men 
merely  eat  of  the  good  things  she  hands  them  and  take  no 
notice  of  her,  beyond  a  grunt  of  acceptance  as  she  sets 
before  them  bowl  after  bowl.1  When  they  have  finished, 
she  sits — down  ? — no,  on  the  platform  which  is  the  bed 
by  night  and  table  by  day  all  through  the  mild  weather,2 
and  has  her  dinner  in  company  with  the  matrons  and 
maids  of  her  relationship. 

The  feast  of  a  rich  tribesman's  son  or  daughter  consists 
of  roast  dog,  soup  made  of  turkey,  chicken,  beef,  pork, 

JOnly  on  occasions  of  ceremony  do  the  men  eat  first. 

2  By  luck  or  pretence  the  puberty-feast  is  always  in  mild  weather. 

Puberty.  7 1 

beans,  potatoes,  maize  and  beans,  cakes  made  of  tallow 
and  cherries  pounded  pulp  and  stones  together,  lumps 
of  maple-sugar,  wheat  and  maize  bread  baked  on  a  hot 
stone,  nuts,  dried  plums  and  a  sickening  drink  of  sugar- 
water  flavoured  with  beef-gall. 

After  the  feast,  everybody  goes  home  without  any  form 
of  leave-taking.  The  guests  do  not  even  depart  in 
chatting  groups.  When  filled  to  repletion,  each  slides  off 
the  platform,  tightens  his  or  her  blanket  into  a  sort  of 
shroud  and  silently  steals  away. 



WHEN  a  youth  is  sixteen,  he  is  told  to  look  about  him 
for  a  wife,  and  he  obeys  the  mandate  with  cheerful 
alacrity.  As  he  may  not  marry  a  girl  of  his  own  clan, 
he  widens  the  circle  of  his  friends,  so  that  he  may  have 
the  opportunity  to  observe  their  sisters.  From  time  to 
time  he  reports  the  result  of  his  observations  to  his  father, 
who  listens  gravely  and  administers  advice  after  due 
thought  and  deliberation.  When  the  young  man  finds 
a  girl  he  fancies,  the  confidences  become  more  frequent, 
the  sympathy  and  advice  if  anything  more  serious.  No 
gentleman  of  the  wigwam  would  for  an  instant  consider 
an  incipient  love  affair  a  theme  for  a  joke,  or  even  for 
light  and  frivolous  remarks  to  a  member  of  the  home 
circle.  If  the  father  does  not  approve  of  his  son's  choice, 
nearly  always  the  young  man  makes  another;  but  if  his 
regard  has  become  so  fixed  that  he  cannot  change,  he 
makes  every  effort  to  bring  his  parent  to  his  way  of 
thinking.  Both  are  argumentative  and  unhappy  for  awhile. 
But  if  the  son  will  not  give  in,  the  father  generally  does, 
apparently  of  his  own  volition  ;  but  those  most  concerned 
know  that  it  is  after  many  a  night  spent  in  whispered 
consultation  with  his  wife. 

The  choice  having  been  made  and  agreed  to,  mamma 
sets  out,  in  her  old  clothes  by  way  of  showing  that  she 
has  nothing  on  her  mind,  and  strolls  into  and  out  of 

Courtship  and  Marriage.  73 

several  wigwams,  gossiping  a  little,  giving  the  dogs  an 
informal  kick  now  and  then,  making  luck  good  for  the 
growing  children  by  uncomplimentary  remarks  or  no 
remarks  at  all,  till  at  last  she  reaches  the  abode  of  the 
inamorata.  After  some  desultory  conversation,  mamma 
states  that  she  must  soon  begin  to  look  for  a  wife  for 
Pa-she-quan,  or  whatever  his  name  may  be.  The  other 
does  not  remember  his  age  exactly,  but  is  of  the  opinion 
he  must  be  too  young  to  marry,  though  truly  she  does 
not  recall  his  appearance  well  enough  to  discuss  the 
matter  as  she  could  wish  to  out  of  compliment  to  her 
caller.  (This  in  the  face  of  the  fact  that  he  is  her  son's 
friend,  and  in  and  out  of  her  wigwam  a  score  of  times 
a  day.)  Mamma  states  his  age  and  thinks  proper  to 
add  that  he  hasn't  given  any  thought  to  matrimony,  but 
that  it  is  her  wish  to  see  him  wedded  to  a  good  girl. 
Mamma  Number  Two,  evidently  desiring  to  be  polite 
and  obliging,  mentions  the  names  of  several  girls,  daugh 
ters  of  her  neighbours.  They  are  fine  girls,  agrees 
Number  One,  but  Pa-she-quan  has  never  cared  for  that 
style  of  beauty.  Now,  what  he  praises  is  (here  follows 
a  description  of  Number  Two's  daughter). 

A  long  pause.  Mamma  Number  Two  evidently  seek 
ing  to  remember  such  a  paragon  among  the  daughters 
of  her  friends. 

Finally,  Number  One  breaks  the  silence  by  inquiring 
for  the  health  of  Number  Two's  daughter. 

She  is  well.     She  has  gone  to  visit  a  neighbour. 

One  mother  knows  just  as  well  as  the  other  that  when 
a  juvenile  scout  ran  home  and  told  the  miss  that  Pa- 
she-quan's  old  woman  was  coming,  the  said  miss  hid 
herself  in  the  darkest  corner  of  the  wigwam  under  a 
roll  of  bedding,  and  at  that  moment  she  is  with  difficulty 
stiffling  her  giggles,  that  she  may  not  miss  a  word  of 
the  conversation. 

After  many   regrets   for   her  absence  and   many   com- 

74         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

pliments  on  her  good  looks  and  manners — all  of  which 
are  carelessly  waved  aside  by  the  mother — the  visitor, 
quite  as  an  afterthought,  asks  the  charmer's  age,  is  it, 
perhaps,  nineteen  or  twenty  ? 

"Twenty-four."     The  marriageable  age  for  girls. 

"  Twenty-four  !  " — the  visitor  feigns  intense  surprise. 

Mamma  Number  Two,  in  turn,  is  surprised.  Has  not 
Mamma  Number  One  noticed  how  many  mothers  of 
young  men  look  sadly  on  her  daughter  as  she  walks 
along.  Truly,  that  girl's  one  fault  is  that  she  is  so  hard 
to  please ;  for  months  she  has  done  nothing  but  spread 
sorrow.  Her  parents  would  gladly  have  her  less  attrac 

Mamma  Number  One  had  not  noticed  this  lament 
able  state  of  affairs,  but  she  could  well  believe,  et  cetera, 
et  cetera. 

Finally,  she  takes  leave — no,  she  merely  goes,  as 
any  Indian  does  when  conversation  has  ceased  to  be 

Next  day,  if  the  girl  and  her  family  are  pleased,  the 
call  is  returned,  and  each  mother  makes  herself  agree 
able  by  praising  the  offspring  of  the  other. 

After  this  second  call,  the  young  man,  not  quite 
seventeen,  is  free  to  follow  his  lady-love  of  twenty-four 
whenever  she  steps  out  of  doors.  He  may  not  accost 
her,  and  he  may  not  go  into  a  house  where  she  is  ;  he 
may  no  longer  go  to  the  family  wigwam  to  call  upon 
her  brother,  but  he  may  and  does  dog  her  footsteps 
whenever  she  makes  it  convenient  for  him  so  to  declare 
his  tender  passion.  For  some  days  she  takes  no  notice 
of  her  skulking  admirer,  but  the  day  comes  when  she 
coyly  glances  over  her  shoulder  and  raises  her  brows 
and  shows  her  white  teeth  in  a  smile.  The  young  man 
sometimes  hastens  the  appearance  of  this  smile  by 
throwing  a  light  into  the  lady's  face  by  means  of  a  cup 
of  water  or  a  small  mirror.  After  the  glance  or  smile 

Courtship  and  Marriage.  7$ 

is  won,  he  proceeds  to  make  night  hideous  by  sitting 
behind  his  love's  wigwam  and  tooting  on  his  willow  flute 
from  dusk  until  the  morning  star — called  the  lovers' 
star,  the  day-bringer — appears  in  the  heavens.  Three 
months  of  this  is  considered  a  proper  courtship.  When 
the  ordeal — it  is  an  ordeal,  for  through  fair  weather, 
through  foul,  he  must  be  at  his  post,  nor  does  headache 
or  other  illness  bring  immunity  to  the  girl  and  her 
family — when  the  ordeal  is  over,  he  sneaks  into  the 
wigwam  some  morning  and  sits  down  north  of  the  fire. 
His  mother-in-law-to-be  hands  him  a  platter  with  food 
on  it.  While  he  is  eating  this,  every  one  present  except 
mamma  steals  away,  leaving  her  to  haggle  over  the 
presents  she  is  to  receive.  These  consist  of  from  one 
to  ten  ponies,  some  beads,  and  a  knife  or  two,  accord 
ing  to  the  wealth  of  the  suitor  and  the  beauty  of  the 

The  bargain  made,  mamma  calls  in  her  husband  and 
her  nearest  male  relatives.  These  proceed  to  dress  the 
young  man  in  a  fine  new  suit  (which  he  must  return  on 
the  morrow)  and  take  him  to  call  on  all  their  friends 
and  relatives  and  his.  The  father  of  the  girl  leads  the 
way ;  after  him  stalks  the  bridegroom ;  after  the  bride 
groom,  in  single  file,  go  his  mother-in-law's  next  of  kin, 
looking  anything  but  bridal  according  to  our  standards 
as  they  solemnly  tramp  along  with  their  toes  turned  in 
and  one  foot  behind  the  other  so  as  to  make  but  a 
single  narrow  track. 

At  sunset,  the  young  man  goes  home  alone  and  gets 
the  supper  he  is  quite  ready  for,  as  he  has  had  nothing 
to  eat  since  early  morning. 

After  dark,  the  girl,  who  has  been  hidden  in  a  relative's 
wigwam  for  twenty-four  hours,  is  taken  home. 

By  sunrise,  next  day,  she  is  dressed  in  her  best 
apparel,  and  stands  just  inside  the  wigwam-door.  Soon, 
the  lover  appears,  bringing  the  promised  presents,  which 

76         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

he  delivers  to  waiting  relatives  on  guard  outside  the 
door.  When  the  presents  have  been  counted,  examined, 
approved,  and  delivered  to  mamma-in-law,  who  is  sta 
tioned  behind  the  wigwam,  papa-in-law  bids  the  young  man 
enter  the  home.  He  enters,  takes  the  girl  by  both  hands 
for  a  moment.  When  he  releases  her,  the  bride  goes  to 
the  fire,  makes  a  pretence  of  re-kindling  it  by  throwing 
dry  twigs  on  the  embers,  prepares  a  little  bowl  of  gruel 
and  hands  it  to  her  bridegroom.  He  swallows  it,  chucks 
her  under  the  chin  a  few  times  and  leads  her  to  a  roll 
of  blankets  his  mother  brought  the  night  before  to  serve 
as  a  nuptial  couch.  On  this  the  two  sit  nearly  all  day, 
contentedly  smiling  at  each  other,  taking  little  notice  and 
being  taken  little  notice  of  by  the  friends  who  stroll  in 
and  out. 

The  young  man  lives  with  his  wife's  people,  but  this 
does  not  make  him  or  his  children  of  her  clan — of  her 
people's  clan,  that  is,  for  she  henceforth  belongs  to  his 
till  death  or  divorce  separates  her  from  him.  As  for  his 
children,  his  death  or  divorce  gives  the  minors  to  the 
maternal  grandfather's  clan  ;  but  those  who  have  had  the 
puberty-feast  still  belong  to  his. 



WHEN  a  sweat  in  the  sweat-lodge  and  a  cold  plunge  in 
the  river  after  it  have  proved  inefficacious,  when  the  old 
woman  with  the  basket  of  healing  herbs  has  come  and 
gone,  when  the  woman-with-spots-on-her-face  is  no  longer 
importuned  for  her  prayers  and  good-will,  when  the  sha 
man  has  given  over  his  incantations  and  medicine-dances, 
when  the  Religion  dancers  have  danced  and  drummed 
and  shrieked  and  howled  and  subsided  into  quiet,  then 
it  is  time  for  all  the  watchers  save  one  to  hide  their 
faces  in  their  blankets  and  steal  out  of  the  wigwam-door, 
leaving  it  wide  open  that  the  soul  about  to  fare  forth 
may  not  have  to  struggle  for  an  exit. 

When  the  watcher,  the  mother  if  there  is  one,  some 
old  woman  if  there  is  not,  perceives  that  the  soul  has 
left  the  body,  she  waits  a  moment  or  two  to  give  it  time 
to  leave  the  wigwam,  then  with  a  loud  voice  she  cries 
out  that  it  has  gone,  and  begins  to  wail.  At  once,  all 
the  relatives  begin  to  wail,  and  two  of  them — men  if  the 
dead  was  a  man,  women  if  a  woman  or  child — go  in  to 
see  if  the  face  needs  re-painting,  and  to  add  any  orna 
ments  to  the  costume  that  were  not  put  on  before 

If  the  death  occurs  in  the  morning,  the  funeral   is  in 

If  it   is  possible,  the  best  garments  are  put   on  as  soon  as  the  shaman 
gives  up  the  case. 

78         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  afternoon  ;  if  any  time  between  noon  and  midnight, 
the  morning  of  the  following  day.  None  of  the  clan  may 
eat,  except  the  morsel  held  to  the  sun,  or  even  take  a 
sip  of  water,  while  the  dead  lies  unburied,  but  food  is 
partaken  of  by  the  friends  who  assemble.  They  bring- 
hot  food  in  kettles,  afterwards  receiving  pay  for  it  from 
the  family  of  the  deceased. 

When  No-chu-ning  was  at  the  point  of  death  his  mother 
begged  him  to  raise  the  death-song,  but  he  shook  his 
head.  No  one  raises  his  death-song  now.  When  a  man 
died  in  battle  or  succumbed  to  his  wounds  after,  as  No- 
chu-ning's  grandfather  did,  strength  somehow  came  in 
the  last  hour  to  boast  of  deeds  of  prowess  and  defy  the 
foe  ;  but  why  should  the  failing  breath  be  wasted  to  tell 
of  a  few  horse-races  won,  or  quickened  to  defy  the  tribe's 
relentless  enemy,  consumption  ?  The  mother  and  wife 
had  hastened  consumption's  victory  by  an  hour  or  two, 
perhaps,  when  they  lifted  and  turned  No-chu-ning  as 
they  placed  under  him  his  fine  broadcloth  blanket  and 
dressed  him  from  neck  to  feet  in  shirt,  leggings,  breech- 
clout  and  moccasins  of  fringed  and  beaded  buckskin. 
To  these,  they  added  many  necklaces  of  beads,  many 
silver  disks  over  his  chest,  many  silver  bracelets  and 
rings  on  his  arms  and  fingers. 

When  he  was  dead,  and  his  mother  had  gone  out  of 
the  wigwam  wailing,  two  men  went  in,  stamped  out  the 
fading  embers  of  the  household-fire,  that  was  allowed 
to  die  as  he  did,  and  was  never  to  be  rekindled.  On 
the  ashes  they  placed  a  rude  stretcher  or  bier,  that  had 
been  made  ready  and  brought  into  the  wigwam  the  day 
before.  Then,  they  lifted  No-chu-ning  by  his  blanket 
and  laid  him  on  the  bier.  This  done,  they  painted  his 
face  (from  his  own  paint-pots,  for  to  paint  from  another's 
would  cause  that  other  to  have  visions  of  the  dead)  with 
bars  of  red,  green,  and  yellow,  interspersed  with  blue 
dots,  his  secret  society  marks  and  colours.  Lastly,  they 

Death,  Burial,  and  Ghost-Carrying.  79 

wrapped  him  in  his  blanket  like  a  mummy  in  its  cere 
ments,  and  went  out  to  join  the  men  who  were  praising 
his  virtues  in  low  tones,  or  groaning  and  cutting  their 
arms  with  bits  of  stone.  The  men  stood  in  a  group 
near  the  open  door,  the  mother,  wife,  and  other  near 
woman-relatives  ran  into  the  wigwam,  wailing,  shrieking, 
tearing  their  hair  and  garments,  horribly  clawing  their 
faces  with  nails  and  thorns,  because  tears  of  water  were 
too  weak  for  so  great  a  loss  and  tears  of  blood  must 
be  shed.  Other  women  echoed  their  grief  outside,  some 
of  them  sitting  in  the  dust,  some  running  to  and  fro. 

Presently  two  old  women  brought  pots  of  hot  food  and 
offered  it  to  the  men.  Each  took  a  little  of  the  thick 
"mush,"  or  porridge,  made  of  maize-meal  and  water  in 
which  meat  had  been  boiled,  in  his  fingers,  held  it  towards 
the  sun  and  towards  the  wigwam,  and  then  ate  it.  No 
other  food  was  offered  during  the  evening  or  night. 

Next  morning  the  young  men,  twelve  in  number,  who 
were  to  carry  the  bier,  advanced  from  a  tiny  brush-covered 
ravine  in  which  they  had  sat  and  mourned  all  night,1  and, 
without  speaking  to  or  noticing  any  one,  lifted  the  bier  to 
their  shoulders  and  started  towards  the  hilltop,  on  which  a 
wide,  shallow  grave  had  been  dug  by  white  men  hired  by 
the  relations.2  Every  one  in  the  tribe  followed,  except  the 
shaman  ;  he  never  attends  the  funerals  of  any  one  outside 
of  his  immediate  family.  The  men  went  silently,  but  the 
cries  and  shrieks  of  the  women  were  redoubled.  It  was  a 
strange,  sad,  scattered  procession  up  the  steep  hill ;  a  few 
men  kept  in  single  file  behind  the  bier  and  a  few  women 
filed  after  them,  but  the  others  covered  half  the  hillside, 
toiling  along,  each  oblivious  of  the  others,  with  eyes  on  the 
ground  or  lifted  to  the  bier.  Now  and  then  some  one  ran 
up  alongside  of  the  bier,  looked  into  the  painted  face  the 

1  For  some  unknown  reason  they  did  not  dance  the  Dead  Man's  Medicine 
dance,  as  was  expected  of  them. 

2  Formerly  slaves  did  this  work. 

8o         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

bearers  had  uncovered  before  they  started,  and  with  most 
piteous  entreaty  besought  the  dead  to  rise,  to  return  to  his 
cold  hearth  and  relight  it,  to  comfort  those  whose  blood 
fell  in  tears  because  of  their  grief  for  the  loss  of  him. 
While  these  spoke,  the  wailers  ceased  their  outcries,  to 
continue  them  when  No-chu-ning  made  no  response. 
Arrived  at  the  grave,  a  most  passionate  last  appeal  was 
made  that  he  would  not  take  his  way  to  the  spirit-land, 
and  for  a  few  moments  the  bearers  held  the  bier  motionless 
and  waited.  When  there  was  no  reply,  two  of  them  with 
a  dexterous  twist  covered  the  head  and  face  again ;  then 
the  twelve  of  them  contrived  to  step  into  the  grave  and 
lay  their  burden  down.  Relatives  then  came  forward  and 
placed  beside  the  body  a  gun,  a  jar  of  food,  a  bundle  of 
clothing,  a  pair  of  moccasins,  an  embroidered  bag  contain 
ing  a  pipe,  tobacco,  a  knife,  an  awl,  and  a  number  of 
cartridges.  This  done,  all  the  women  and  such  men  as 
were  not  relatives  went  slowly  down  the  hill,  lamenting 
and  praising  No-chu-ning,  and  leaving  the  men  of  his 
family  to  fill  up  the  grave  and  build  over  it  a  triangular 
structure  of  boards,  which  they  rendered  waterproof  by 
shingling.  This  task  ended,  they  went  back  to  the  wig 
wam,  but  not  to  enter  it — no  one  would  ever  enter  it 
again — they  sat  down  in  front  of  it,  beside  the  fire  the 
squaws  had  kindled.  Soon  friends  came  with  food,  of 
which  a  goodly  portion  was  thrown  down  by  the  fire, 
that  as  it  dried  its  steam  might  nourish  the  spirit,  which 
would  linger  about  the  place  until  the  ghost-carrier  should 
take  it  away. 

For  thirty  days  the  relatives  mourned  night  and  day 
by  the  empty  wigwam  and  on  a  hill  opposite  the  one 
on  which  was  the  grave.  They  might  not,  as  would  a 
white  mourner,  go  near  the  grave  then  or  at  any  other 
time.  For  thirty  days  also  was  the  ghost-fire  kept  burn 
ing,  and  much  food  laid  before  it,  for  a  newly  made  ghost 
is  very  cold  without  its  body,  and  not  easily  satisfied  with 

Death,  Burial,  and  Ghost- Carrying.  81 

the  light  quality  of  its  refreshment.  There  is  besides 
another  reason  for  keeping  the  fire  alight :  demon-ghosts, 
especially  those  which  renew  their  strength  by  eating  souls, 
are  afraid  to  get  near  a  fire  lest  they  explode ;  it  is  thus 
the  safeguard  from  their  malicious  efforts  to  disfigure  or 
destroy  the  spirit,  which  is,  until  started  on  the  ghost-road, 
naked  unto  its  enemies. 

When  the  thirty  days  were  over,  friends  came  to  where 
the  mourners  had  crouched  under  a  temporary  shelter  of 
mats  and  poles,  set  up  by  some  of  the  squaws  beside 
No-chu-ning's  empty  wigwam.  "  Let  the  ghost  be  carried 
away,"  they  demanded. 

There  was  no  response. 

The  women-friends  entered  the  wigwam  x  and  sat  down 
before  the  mourners  ;  the  men  stood  at  the  door  and 
entreated  the  father,  who  sat  between  the  wife  and 

"  Look  up!  lookup!"  said  the  friends  in  unison.  "Look 
up,  mourners,  fasters,  who  have  caused  your  blood  to  flow 
because  tears  of  water  were  not  enough  to  shed  for 

The  mourners,  shrouded  in  their  blankets,  said  softly: 
"  We  cannot  look  up." 

"He  died  long  ago,  the  fine  son,  the  good  husband,  the 
brave  and  faithful  friend.  Is  he  in  the  Happy  Hunting 
Ground,  pursuing  the  plentiful  game,  rejoicing  in  the 
company  of  warriors  ?  " 

No  one  replied. 

"  Is  he  in  the  Happy  Hunting  Grounds  ?  " 

Again  no  reply. 

"  Mourners  and  fasters,  is  he  in  the  Happy  Hunting 
Grounds,  or  have  you  failed  to  befriend  his  ghost  ? " 

The   mourners   renewed   their    lamentations,    the    men 

1The  temporary  wigwam.  No  one  would  enter  that  in  which  there  had 
been  a  death.  This  custom  renders  it  an  impossibility  for  Indians  to  make 
what  we  call  "permanent  improvements." 


82         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

groaning  and  causing  their  right  arms  to  bleed,  the 
women  beating  their  breasts,  tearing  their  hair  and 

"  Why  is  not  No-chu-ning  in  the  Happy  Hunting 
Grounds  ?  Have  you  not  sent  him  ? "  persisted  the 
friends  inexorably. 

"  He  is  so  loved  we  cannot  part  with  him,  we  cannot 
let  him  go,"  chanted  the  women-friends,  their  voices 
rising  above  the  laments  of  the  mourners. 

"  He  is  outside.  He  cannot  come  in.  Naked  is  his 
soul.  He  is  cold.  He  is  like  a  wolf  picking  up  crumbs 
cast  into  the  darkness.  He  is  no  longer  a  fine  young 
man.  He  begs  at  his  own  door,"  chanted  the  men. 

"  He  is  son,  husband,  brother,  we  cannot  part  with 
him,  we  cannot  let  him  go  ;  if  he  goes,  he  returns  no 
more,"  the  mourners  responded. 

"  He  is  thin.  He  trembles ;  the  ghosts  of  evil  intent 
mock  him  as  he  tries  to  get  warm  by  the  ghost-fire. 
Why  is  he  mistreated  and  shamed  ?  Why  is  he  not  a 
happy  hunter  in  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground  ?  " 

"  We  cannot  part  with  him.  If  he  goes  he  returns 
not.  Long  is  the  ghost  road,  no  one  returns  over  it." 

"  He  is  lonely.  He  has  no  companion  or  bosom 
friend.  He  sees  his  friends  but  they  do  not  see  him ; 
he  knows  they  do  not  see  him.  He  hears  them  talk, 
but  they  cannot  hear  his  thin  voice.  Send  him  to  the 
Happy  Hunting  Ground,  let  him  have  the  company  of 
his  ancestors." 

"  Long  is  the  ghost-road.  He  will  not  return 
over  it." 

"  Long  is  the  ghost-road,  but  all  go  over  it.  You 
will  follow  No-chu-ning,  if  you  send  him  to  the  Happy 
Hunting  Ground." 

Again  and  again  the  entreaties  and  refusals,  with 
slight  variations,  are  repeated.  Finally  the  mourners 
stand  up  and  say: 

Death,  Burial,  and  Ghost-Carrying.  83 

"  Yes,  yes,  we  shall  all  follow  No-chu-ning,  wise, 
good,  and  loving.  We  shall  not  lose  him.  We  shall 
follow  after  him.  Quick !  make  ready  the  horse,  the 
new  clothes,  the  feast." 

"  They  will  send  him  !  The  mourners  for  No-chu-ning 
will  send  him  !  Make  ready  the  horse,  the  new  clothes, 
the  feast,  call  the  ghost-carriers,  bring  no  more  wood  to 
the  ghost-fire,  bring  no  more  food  ;  let  the  men  who  sit 
by  the  ghost-fire  praising  No-chu-ning,  that  he  may 
hear,  rise  up,  and  help  to  make  ready." 

The  men-friends  walked  away.  The  women  followed 
them,  the  last  to  go  setting  down  a  jar  of  water  she 
had  held  in  her  hands,  and  drawing  close  the  door-flap, 
so  that  the  mourners  might  have  privacy  while  they 
washed  their  faces  and  donned  their  best  apparel. 

At  a  tap  of  the  sacred  drum  the  mourners  came 
forth,  their  wounds  oiled,  their  faces  barred  with  paint, 
their  torn  garments  replaced  by  whole  ones,  and  took 
their  places  on  the  long  raised  platform  at  the  side  of 
the  wigwam,  which  in  winter  is  used  for  the  death-feast 
only,  though  in  summer  it  is  both  bed  and  dinner-table 
for  the  family.  Other  members  of  the  clan  mounted 
beside  the  mourners,  till  but  one  vacant  place  remained 
between  the  father  and  wife.  At  this  place  were  a  new 
knife,  cup,  and  plate. 

"  No-chu-ning  !  No-chu-ning !  No-chu-ning  !  come  to 
your  feast,"  cried  the  father. 

At  this  call  a  young  man  ran  from  behind  No-chu-ning's 
wigwam,  leaped  upon  the  platform,  and  crouched  down 
with  the  new  knife,  cup,  and  plate  before  him. 

"  Eat,  my  son,"  commanded  the  father.  "  Long  is 
the  journey  set  you.  Long  is  the  ghost-road." 

At  once  women-friends  brought  great  bowls  of  soup 
and  placed  them  in  a  row  down  the  middle  of  the 
platform,  so  that  each  person  might  dip  from  them  with 
cup  or  spoon.  By  the  bowls  were  heaped  loaves  and 

84         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

cakes  of  maize  and  acorn  bread,  other  cakes  of  dried 
and  pounded  cherries  mixed  with  grease  and  honey, 
trenchers  on  which  the  meat  in  the  bottom  of  the 
cooking-pots  would  be  placed,  and  some  small  lumps  of 
grasshopper-bread.  Other  bowls  contained  a  bitter 
drink  compounded  of  river-water,  herbs,  and  burnt 

The  ghost-carriers'  platform  did  not  hold  all  the 
feast  of  the  dead.  On  other  platforms,  and  on  the 
ground,  food  was  served  exactly  as  it  was  to  the 
ghost-carrier  and  those  who  ate  with  him,  and  in  the 
same  profusion.  All  of  it  was  paid  for  by  No-chu-ning's 
relatives.  The  feast  began  a  little  before  noon,  and 
lasted  until  almost  sunset,  it  being  a  necessity  according 
to  the  tenets  of  Musquakie  decorum  for  the  mourners 
to  continue  to  eat  long  after  hunger  is  satisfied,  so  as 
to  delay  the  carrying  away  of  the  ghost. 

When  the  chief  saw  that  the  sun  was  almost  out  of 
sight,  he  climbed  down  from  his  place  opposite  the  father, 
and  in  a  loud  voice  commanded  the  ghost-carrier  to  go 
to  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground,  and  in  a  lower  tone 
reminded  him  that  the  light  necessary  for  the  journey 
would  soon  fail. 

At  once  the  ghost-carrier  dropped  to  the  ground  and 
stalked  to  a  group  of  young  men,  who,  mounted  on  their 
best  ponies,  awaited  him  with  a  fine  steed  saddled  with 
a  new  saddle,  its  mane  and  tail  ornamented  with  beads 
and  ribbons,  its  face  painted,  its  sides  concealed  under 
bundles  made  up  of  all  No-chu-ning's  personal  property 
not  buried  with  him.  Before  he  could  mount,  all  the 
mourners  ran  to  him,  clung  to  him  calling  him  by  his 
new  name,  "  No-chu-ning,"  and  entreated  him  not  to  leave 
them.  He  stood  rigid  and  silent,  while  the  friends,  softly 
chanting  the  virtues  of  No-chu-ning  and  his  fitness  to 
enjoy  the  delights  of  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground,  loosened 
their  hands  and  led  them  away. 

Death,  Burial^  and  Ghost-Carrying.  85 

The  moment  he  was  free,  the  ghost-carrier  sprang  on 
his  horse  and  galloped  toward  the  west,  followed  by  the 
mounted  young  men. 

I  was  told  that  the  ghost  rode  with  the  ghost-carrier 
who  had  taken  its  name.  "On  the  same  horse?"  I 
asked.  "  No,"  was  the  answer.  "  Then  where  did  it  get 
a  horse  ? "  No  reply,  though  the  question  was  repeated 
many  times.  "  Is  it  the  ghost  of  a  horse  that  died  in  the 
pasture  ? "  "  Maybe  so."  "  Or,  perhaps,  some  one  has 
killed  a  horse  ? "  "  Maybe  so."  I  asked  a  dozen  questions, 
but  that  exasperating  "  Maybe  so  "  was  the  only  answer 
vouchsafed  to  them  all.  As  the  old  custom,  spoken  of 
again  and  again  by  the  tribal  historian  as  he  tells  of 
the  heroes,  at  the  campfire,  was  to  bury  a  horse  with 
every  one  not  considered  too  old  or  too  young  to  ride, 
it  is  a  fair  inference  that  the  ghostly  mount  is  still  made 
sure  of  by  the  friends  and  relatives.  It  is  likely  that 
the  interference  of  an  agent  has  caused  them  to  do 
secretly  what  was  once  done  publicly. 

When  the  ghost-carrier  had  ridden  a  few  miles,  he 
made  a  detour  and  returned  with  his  escort  to  the  place 
from  whence  he  started,  taking  care  to  arrive  after  night 
fall.  He  was  welcomed  by  the  clan-chief  and  the  mourners 
as  one  returned  from  a  long  journey.  Every  one  called 
him  "  No-chu-ning "  instead  of  "  Pa-che-quas,"  the  name 
by  which  lie  had  formerly  been  known.  After  he 
returned  the  greetings,  he  divided  the  bundles  he  had 
carried  among  the  young  men  who  rode  with  him  ;  but 
the  horse  he  reserved  for  himself. 

The  next  day,  the  widow  and  her  mother  built  a 
new  wigwam  for  their  family.  In  the  evening,  the  widow 
went  with  her  mother  to  the  older  woman's  clan-society 
and  had  her  face  painted  anew  with  the  marks  she  wore 
in  her  girlhood. 

No-chu-ning's  father  and  mother  went  back  to  their 
own  wigwam,  where  in  a  few  days,  the  new  No-chu-ning, 

86         Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  ghost-carrier,  visited  them,  bringing  presents  of  meal 
and  meat  and  announcing  at  the  door  that  he  was 
No-chu-ning,  their  son,  who  would  care  for  their  old  age. 
He  went  home  to  his  own  parents  after  a  short  call, 
but  both  the  adopted  parents  who  called  him  No-chu-ning, 
and  his  parents  of  the  blood  who  continued  to  call  him 
Pa-che-quas,  felt  that  he  was  pledged  to  a  son's  duty 
to  the  adopted  ones,  should  they  ever  need  his  services. 

The  burial  and  ghost-carrying  of  a  woman  are  like 
a  man's,  except  that  a  woman  of  her  own  age  carries 
the  ghost,  and  is  attended  by  girls. 

Formerly,  after  the  distribution  of  the  ghost's  personal 
effects,  a  scalp-dance  was  given,  but  now  this  is  rarely 

For  very  young  or  very  old  there  is  no  ghost-carrying. 
They  would  get  lost  on  the  ghost-road.  They  must 
linger  about  the  encampment  till  the  ghost  of  a  relative 
conducts  them. 

The  funeral  of  little  children  is  private,  but  the  very 
old  are  buried  like  other  adults ;  the  children  are  placed 
by  their  parents  in  the  path  to  the  river ;  *  the  old  people 
lie  in  a  roofed-in  grave  on  the  hill-top. 

1  In  the  hope  that  they  may  be  reincarnated.     See  pp.  22,  23. 




THERE  were  three  young  men,  sons  of  a  chief.  One 
was  married,  he  had  a  nice  young  wife.  The  three 
young  men  went  out  one  day  to  hunt.  The  married 
one  said:  "We  must  kill  a  bear,  it  is  not  right  that  a 
chief's  son  has  no  bearskin  for  his  wife  to  sleep  on.  I 
must  have  the  skin ;  you  may  have  half  the  meat." 
The  brothers  said  "  Yes,"  and  they  went  on,  not  talk 
ing  though  they  had  made  their  bear-fast  and  killed 
and  burnt  the  bear  for  that  year.  They  saw  a  big 
bear  that  ran  very  fast,  and  they  ran  after  him  till  it 
was  dark  and  the  bear  ran  into  a  ravine  and  got  lost 
away  from  them.  Then  they  picked  out  a  big  tree  on 
a  flat  place  on  the  side  of  the  ravine  and  lay  down 
under  it  to  sleep.  It  was  an  oak  tree,  and  the  branches 
shook  and  many  acorns  fell  down  on  them.  They  were 
hungry  and  ate  the  acorns.  By  and  by,  the  youngest 
brother  said :  "  There  is  not  much  wind,  I  do  not  like 
the  way  this  tree  acts.  Let  us  go  away  from  here." 
The  brothers  said :  "  Huh !  huh !  you  are  a  child  to 
fear  the  acorns.  It  is  now  the  season  for  the  acorns 
to  fall."  "  I  do  not  like  the  tree,"  the  youngest  brother 
said,  and  went  away  to  the  next  one.  When  he  had 
gone  the  moon  came  out,  and  his  brothers  saw  two 

88         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

fine  girls  in  the  tree.  The  girls  said  "  come  up,"  and 
the  brothers  said  "  come  down,"  many  times.  At  last 
the  girls  let  down  their  hair-strings  and  drew  the  brothers 
up,  and  the  brothers  stayed  and  slept  there.  In  the 
morning,  when  they  would  have  come  down,  they  could 
not,  for  they  were  tied  fast  by  the  hair-strings  of  the 
girls  ;  and  when  the  youngest  brother  heard  the  crying 
out  of  the  brothers  and  would  have  helped  them,  the 
old  bear  came  out  of  a  hole  in  the  tree  and  he  had  to 
run  away.  When  he  ran  home,  many  braves  went  to 
the  tree,  but  they  could  not  see  the  brothers  though 
they  heard  their  voices.  When  the  tree  was  cut  down, 
the  brothers  were  not  in  it,  their  voices  were  heard 
under  the  roots.  When  many  dug  in  the  ground  they 
could  not  find  the  brothers ;  so  the  little  brother  had 
his  brother's  wife  and  was  the  young  chief.  Those  girls 
were  witches,  and  the  bear  was  their  father. 


There  was  an  orphan  boy  went  hunting  by  himself 
in  the  woods.  He  was  a  very  poor  boy  and  had  no 
friends ;  so  that  was  why  he  went  off  hunting  by  him 
self.  He  went  a  long  way,  and  did  not  find  anything 
to  kill.  At  last  he  saw  a  very  small  grey-wolf's  cub. 
"  You  are  an  orphan,  too,"  he  said  to  it.  "  If  you  had 
a  mother  she  would  crack  your  fleas.  I  will  take  you 
for  my  brother."  He  went  on ;  he  killed  a  bird  and 
gave  it  to  the  weak  little  wolf.  By  and  by  they  went 
to  bed  on  the  leaves.  In  the  morning  he  killed  more 
birds,  but  the  little  wolf  could  not  get  enough.  So  they 
went  on  |many  days,  but  the  little  wolf  did  not  get  fat. 
In  a  year's  time  he  did  not  get  fat,  but  he  got  tall ;  he 
could  hunt.  The  boy  was  lonesome ;  he  did  not  like 
to  have  no  friend  but  a  wolf.  One  day  the  wolf  brought 
a  baby  to  him.  It  was  a  girl.  It  was  pretty.  It  had 

The  Grey-  Wolf  and  the  Orphan  Boy.          89 

good  clothes  and  beads.  The  wolf  talked,  it  was  the 
first  time.  The  wolf  said  :  "  Go  to  the  village,  it  is  near." 
He  took  the  baby  to  the  village,  it  was  the  chief's  baby. 
He  had  a  grown  daughter.  The  poor  boy  married  her 
and  had  plenty  of  all  things.  The  wolf  came  one  night. 
He  said  :  "  I  was  fooling.  I  was  not  a  cub,  I  was  a 
grandfather.  I  pitied  you  and  wanted  to  make  your 
fortune."  The  wolf  went  away.  The  orphan  boy  cried, 
but  the  wolf  had  made  his  fortune.  When  the  other 
girl  grew  up,  he  had  her  too. 


There  was  a  woman  got  mad  at  her  husband  when 
they  were  out  hunting  plums.  She  started  to  go  home. 
She  had  to  sleep  in  the  woods.  In  the  night  she  waked 
up  and  heard  a  man  say :  "  I  have  found  a  wife."  She 
tried  to  run  away,  but  the  man  caught  her  and  would 
not  let  her  go.  In  the  morning,  she  was  tied  to  a  tree, 
and  no  man  was  there.  She  was  in  the  woods  a  long 
time.  One  day  she  got  her  hand  loosed,  she  got  her 
knife  and  cut  the  thongs.  She  ran  till  she  fell  down. 
Then  it  was  almost  night.  She  had  a  flint,  she  made 
a  fire  to  save  her  from  the  man,  she  kept  by  it.  She 
saw  the  man  come  running,  he  came  up  and  fought 
with  her ;  he  fell  down  in  the  fire,  and  got  up  and  fell 
again.  In  the  morning  there  was  a  burned  tree  where 
he  fell.  She  ran  home,  but  she  died  next  day. 


A  man  was  going  along  in  the  woods  to  find  some 
poles  to  cut.  He  saw  an  old  tree  and  broke  a  limb. 
The  sap  looked  like  blood.  He  was  scared,  he  ran,  he 
fell  down.  He  had  hurt  his  foot,  he  could  not  go  fast 
any  more.  It  was  night,  he  had  to  stop.  He  made  a 

90         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

big  fire ;  then  the  trees  came  around  and  slapped,  but 
they  could  not  get  him  because  of  the  big  fire.  In 
the  morning  they  went  away.  He  was  all  scratched  up, 
but  they  did  not  get  to  kill  him.  He  went  home.  He 
was  sick  a  long  time. 


A  young  man  was  out  on  the  prairie.  He  had  got  out 
of  the  woods.  A  girl  came  up  and  said  :  "  You  will  do  for 
a  husband."  He  could  not  see  her  very  well,  it  was  night, 
but  he  loved  her  very  much.  Before  day  she  said  :  "  I 
must  go  away  and  tell  my  parents."  She  would  not  let 
him  go.  She  said  :  "  Wait  here."  He  waited  there.  At 
night  she  came  back.  Next  day  when  he  awoke  she  was 
gone.  He  saw  a  young  elm  he  had  not  seen.  He  peeled 
the  bark  from  a  limb  and  ate  it.  At  night  she  came  back  ; 
she  said  :  "  I  went  to  my  mother ;  she  is  sick ;  she  will 
come  up  soon."  She  had  her  arm  tied  up.  She  said:  "A 
wild  cat  scratched  me  in  the  woods.  My  father  killed  it." 
Next  day  she  was  gone.  He  did  not  like  that  ;  he  went 
on.  He  got  into  the  hazel  brush  ;  he  made  a  fire  that 
night  in  a  clear  place.  She  called  him  :  "  Come  out  here." 
He  said:  "Come  here."  A  long  time  they  called,  then  he 
was  mad,  he  lay  down.  His  fire  went  down.  She  came 
up.  He  said:  "I  think  you  are  a  ghost."  He  threw  brush 
on  the  fire.  She  screamed  and  ran  away.  He  did  not  go 
in  the  woods  any  more  that  year. 


There  were  many  young  men  and  boys  went  swimming. 
They  saw  some  nice-looking  girls  a  little  way  off,  and 
swam  up  to  them.  The  girls  laughed.  They  did  not 
talk,  and  they  did  not  go  away.  When  they  had  played 
a  long  time,  one  young  man  got  the  girl  he  liked  best 

The  D^lck- Woman.  91 

near  the  shore,  and  then  he  took  her  up  and  ran  home 
with  her.  The  others  changed  to  ducks  with  black  heads 
and  flew  away.  The  girl  was  a  good  wife.  She  could  not 
talk.  He  said  :  "Don't  go  to  the  river."  She  did  not  go. 
One  day  a  hunter  went  there.  He  had  many  dead  ducks. 
He  said  :  "  Cook  these  ducks."  She  was  scared,  and  ran 
to  the  river  and  swam  away.  The  young  man  could  not 
find  her.  He  never  liked  any  wife  he  had  as  well  as 
that  duck-girl. 


There  was  a  girl  went  out  to  pick  some  hazel  nuts.  She 
went  with  other  girls,  but  she  got  lost  away  from  them  in 
the  brush.  A  young  man  came  up.  He  had  fine  clothes 
and  a  red  scalplock  ornament.  He  said  :  "  You  will  do  for 
a  wife."  She  was  afraid,  and  screamed.  The  other  girls 
did  not  hear  her  scream.  He  took  her  away  to  where  were 
many  trees  ;  he  took  her  where  many  dead  trees  stood, 
beyond  the  live  trees.  She  saw  many  woodpeckers,  but 
no  people.  She  stayed  there  with  him.  She  cried  so 
much  that  at  last  he  let  her  go.  He  showed  her  the  way 
home.  He  said  :  "  You  are  a  fool  to  go  home."  She  got 
home.  She  was  despised.  She  wished  she  had  not 
gone  home.  She  made  a  tent  in  the  brush.  She  had  her 
baby  there.  He  had  a  red  scalp-lock.  He  grew  up  fast. 
He  knew  all  things.  The  people  made  him  chief.  Then 
she  despised  her  enemies. 


A  prairie-chicken  lost  her  husband.  Soon  she  would 
like  to  have  another  husband.  All  the  birds  and  beasts 
were  afraid  to  marry  her,  because  she  was  a  witch.  They 
gave  her  presents,  but  they  would  not  marry  her.  She  saw 
a  woman  in  a  field  working.  The  woman  had  a  little  boy 
following  along  after  her.  Prairie-Chicken  made  herself 

92         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musqitakie  Indians. 

large  like  an  eagle.  She  carried  off  the  boy.  She  took 
him  home.  She  made  medicine  to  make  him  grow.  He 
grew  up  and  married  Prairie-Chicken.  The  mother  hunted 
for  him,  but  she  did  not  know  him  when  she  saw  him, 
because  he  had  grown  up  so  fast.  The  old  woman  is  in 
the  woods  hunting  for  him  yet.  He  was  never  in  the 
woods  much. 


A  poor  widow  who  had  lost  all  her  children  had  no  one 
to  bring  her  some  meat  but  three  old  dogs.  Sometimes 
the  poor  old  dogs  could  not  catch  anything.  One  night 
all  lay  down  hungry,  all  were  starving  that  night.  Some 
body  said  :  "  There  is  plenty  of  meat  across  the  river." 
She  said  :  "  Who  said  that  ?"  Four  times  it  was  said,  and 
then  she  found  out  that  it  was  the  awl  in  the  awl-case  on 
the  wall  that  was  talking.  The  cover  had  come  off  the 
case,  so  the  awl  could  talk  out.  She  talked  to  the  awl,  but 
he  would  not  talk  any  more ;  so  she  called  the  dogs  out, 
and  they  crossed  the  river  on  the  ice.  There  were  many 
rabbits  found  there  and  one  deer.  She  killed  the  deer, 
and  the  old  dogs  got  spry  and  killed  the  rabbits.  They 
had  plenty  of  meat  till  spring  came  on. 


All  of  the  girls  went  out  to  get  plums.  Some  of  the 
girls  were  going  to  get  married.  The  girl-with-spots-on- 
her-face  was  going  to  marry  soon.  A  band  came  along. 
It  was  an  enemy's  band  of  young  men,  and  they  chased 
the  girls.  Some  girls  ran  and  got  killed,  and  some  hid 
and  got  away  home,  and  some  hid  and  got  caught.  Three 
girls  got  caught,  and  the  girl-with-spots-on-her-face  was 
one  of  the  girls  to  get  caught.  The  young  braves  took 
them  home,  and  those  girls  belonged  to  those  braves  that 
took  them  home.  The  girls  were  mad,  but  they  could  not 

The  Girl-with-Spots-on-her-Face.  93 

help  themselves  at  all ;  but  after  a  while  the  girl-with-spots- 
on-her-face,  she  could  help  them.  She  made  medicine  in 
the  tent,  when  that  brave  that  was  her  man  she  hated  for 
a  husband  was  gone  out.  One  night  she  made  that  man 
sleep  and  all  the  people  sleep,  and  she  waked  up  those  two 
girls  that  were  taken  with  her.  They  killed  those  three 
men  and  no  more,  and  she  danced  and  sang  with  a  corn- 
ear  in  her  arm  to  keep  those  folks  asleep  ;  and  they  took 
many  ponies  and  went  back  to  their  own  folks.  The  folks 
were  glad  those  girls  got  back,  and  the  most  for  the  girl 
that  did  all  for  them  to  get  back  ;  and  the  young  man  that 
was  her  young  man  before  she  was  stolen  fluted  her  again. 
But  she  told  him  :  "  Young  man,  stop  that !  I  don't  want 
you  any  more,  because  you  did  not  come  after  me  when  I 
was  a  prisoner  to  that  man  I  killed."  So  he  stopped,  and 
she  would  not  have  any  man  in  that  camp  ;  and  she  could 
not  get  a  man,  till  a  big  brave  came  from  a  tribe  far  off, 
and  she  said  :  "  Yes,  I  will  go  with  this  man."  So  she  went 
away,  and  it  was  a  good  thing  for  that  tribe  she  went  to. 
The  other  girls,  they  married  their  men  they  had  in  the 
first  place  to  marry.  They  were  not  much  of  girls. 


It  was  a  long  while  back.  Two  young  men  made  a 
blood-friendship.1  One  said :  "  Let  us  go  out  and  steal 
some  horses."  The  other  said :  "  Whooh !  yes,  we  will 
go  out  and  steal  some  horses."  They  went  a  long  way 
to  where  a  camp  was  with  many  horses  of  the  Kickapoos. 
The  horses  were  on  one  side  of  the  camp  and  the  men 
watched  them.  "  Let  us  wait  till  it  is  night,"  said  the 

1  "  Blood-friendship "  is  made  by  the  two  interested  scratching  their  left 
wrists  with  a  knife  and  holding  them  together,  so  that  the  blood  may  mingle. 
This  makes  a  tie  closer  than  relationship.  It  must  be  between  those  of  the 
same  sex.  No  one  may  have  more  than  one  blood-friend. 

94         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

young  man.  "  All  right,  let  us  wait."  They  waited. 
They  lay  down  in  the  long  grass.  When  it  was  night, 
one  said  :  "  I  will  go,  you  wait  here."  The  other  said  :  "  No» 
I  will  go."  "No,  I  spoke  first"  So  he  went.  He  did 
not  come  back  in  a  long  time,  so  the  one  who  waited 
killed  himself.  He  could  not  live  without  his  friend,  he 
could  not  go  back.  By-and-bye,  the  other  came  back. 
He  said :  "  I  waited  a  long  time,  they  watched  too  close, 
I  could  not  steal  any."  Then  he  found  the  other  one,  the 
dead  young  man.  He  carried  him  a  long  way.  He 
stopped  not  at  all  till  daylight,  then  he  stopped  under  a 
cotton-wood  tree,  the  limbs  high  up.  When  he  got  his 
strength  back,  he  hung  the  dead  one  up  to  the  high  limbs, 
he  made  medicine  under  him  and  made  him  alive.  Then, 
he  let  him  down,  and  said  :  "  Ain't  you  a  nice  fool  making 
me  so  much  work  to  get  all  the  pieces  of  your  soul,1 
because  I  waited  for  the  camp  to  go  sleep  ?  Well,  now ! 
go  back  and  get  horses  by  yourself."  Then  that  nice 
fool  went  back,  next  night.  He  stole  many  horses  and 
gave  half  to  that  young  medicine-friend  that  saved  his 

1  A  suicide's  soul  explodes. 


THE  objects  here  catalogued  are  not  "  merely  pretty  and 
picturesque,"  they  are.  almost  without  exception,  cere 
monial.  This  statement  is  made  for  the  sake  of  those 
students  of  folk-lore  who  have  warned  collectors  of  wild 
peoples'  property  that  they  should  neglect  the  merely 
pretty  and  picturesque,  and  gather  in  such  objects  as 
are  ceremonial,  a  fair  enough  warning  till  one  comes  to 
realise  that  to  the  wild  man  surrounded  by  civilization 
and  making  a  stand  against  it,  everything  that  pertains 
to  his  free  and  savage  past  has  become  a  ceremonial 
object.  The  Musquakie,  hating  and  repelling  civilization, 
yet,  to  an  extent  succumbing  to  his  environment  and 
availing  himself  of  its  conveniences,  buys  his  plate  and 
cup,  his  flour,  his  shabby,  cheap  clothes,  all  for  everyday 
use  and  wear,  from  the  white  trader ;  but  when  the 
time  comes  for  his  wedding  and  his  burial,  for  the  solemn 
high  festivals  of  his  religion  and  their  attendant 
feasts,  he  must  wear  the  garments  his  women  make  for 
him,  the  ornaments  fashioned  by  his  skill  and  theirs,  and 
eat  the  food  of  his  ancestors  prepared  in  the  old  way 
and  served  in  the  vessels  that  by  usage  have  become 
sacred.  And  as  the  husband  is  the  wife  is,  with  perhaps 
an  increase  of  affection  for  her  gay  garments,  because 
they  enhance  her  good  looks. 

96         Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 


1.  Silver  Comb. 

Even  the  silver  comb,  worn  with  as  much  vanity  as  a 
white  dame  does  a  tiara  of  uncommon  glitter,  has  a  place 
in  the  religious  drama  that  claims  so  large  a  part  of 
Indian  life ;  for  silver  is  "  good  medicine,"  and  the  wearing 
of  it  helps  in  the  propitiation  of  the  Meechee  Manito-ah 
and  the  Ancestral  Animals  or  Totems,  almost  as  much 
as  do  the  dancing  and  prayers.  In  addition,  silver  in  the 
hair  is  a  protection  to  the  soul,  which  lies  under  the 
scalp-lock  in  a  little  bulb.  The  teeth  of  the  middle  of 
the  comb  are  supposed  to  touch  the  soul ;  for  a  squaw's 
hair  is  parted  and  combed  smoothly  over  her  temples,  and 
kept  in  place  by  this  silver  thing,  which  goes  over  her 
crown  and  almost  to  her  ears. 

2.  Cloth  Hair- Wrapper  with  Bead  Embroidery. 

A  squaw's  hair,  after  she  attains  to  puberty,  is  clubbed 
at  the  back  and  wrapped  in  this  envelope,  which  has  on 
it  a  design  that  was  "  pow-wowed  "  by  the  shaman  as  a 
woman  did  the  embroidery.  It  is  kept  in  its  place  by 
a  hair-string  of  woven  beads. 

3.  Hair-String. 

This  is  a  woman's  most  important  possession,  excepting 
her  "  medicine."  It  is  made  for  her  by  her  mother  or 
grandmother,  in  what  she  tells  the  pale-face  are  "  luck " 
patterns.  It  also  is  much  pow-wowed  by  the  shaman, 
and  much  disapproved  of  by  the  agents  and  missionaries, 
who  would  gladly  see  the  making  of  bead-work  done 
away  with,  and  disapprove  of  the  hair-string  more  than 
the  other  varieties.  By  its  aid  its  owner  can  work 
sorceries  ;  or,  if  it  is  taken  from  her,  by  its  aid  she  herself 
is  bewitched  or  enslaved.  A  woman  will  go  from  the 
man  she  loves  to  a  man  she  hates,  if  he  has  contrived 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.  97 

to  possess  himself  of  her  hair-string ;  and  a  man 
will  forsake  wife  and  children  for  a  witch  who  has 
touched  his  lips  with  her  hair-string.  Half  the  folk-tales 
concerning  women  have  to  do  with  the  use  or  loss  of  it. 

4.  Wrapper  and  Hair-String.      (Figs.  4a-g.) 

The  queue  is  rather  grotesque  when  viewed  by  itself; 
but  when  a  row  of  girls  are  dancing,  the  wrappers  dangling 
at  their  shoulders  and  the  hair-strings  reaching  almost 
to  their  feet  make  a  good  effect.  After  marriage,  a 
woman  generally  leaves  off  this  adornment.  She  may 
lose,  sell,  or  give  away  the  wrapper,  but  it  behoves  her 
to  hide  the  hair-string  in  a  secure  place.  After  her  death, 
somebody  finds  it  and  presents  it  to  a  friend. 

A  squaw's  hair-wrapper  is  a  talisman.  Her  hair-string 
is  a  talisman  when  it  is  first  worn,  but  it  becomes  some 
thing  infinitely  more  sacred  and  precious,  is  transfused 
with  the  essence  of  her  soul,  is — I  know  not  whether  to 
say  a  part  of  herself,  or  her  representative.  If  anyone  gains 
possession  of  it,  he  has  her  for  an  abject  slave  if  he  keeps 
it,  he  kills  her  if  he  destroys  it.  Both  hair-string  and 
wrapper  are  made  for  her  by  a  relative,  and  are  donned 
by  her  at  puberty.  The  wrapper  is  of  black  cloth  with 
a  prayer  embroidered  on  it.  The  string  is  of  woven  beads  '• 
black,  if  the  family  can  possibly  afford  to  have  the  shaman 
pow-wow  it,  geometrical  figures  to  show  that  the  woman- 
with-spots-on-her-face  did  likewise,  and  the  symbol  of  her 
mother's  secret  society.  When  she  is  dressed  for  her 
wedding,  she  takes  it  off  and  hides  it  and  not  even  her 
husband  may  see  it  again  or  touch  it. 

The  prayers  said  by  the  weaver  (who  must  be  her 
mother,  or  one  of  her  father's  women-kin),  the  woman- 
with-spots-on-her-face  and  the  shaman,  while  a  little 
tobacco  or  a  few  blue  beads  are  burned  in  the  wigwam 
fire,  are,  for  the  wrapper : — "  Make  her  strong,  make  her 
beautiful,  give  her  a  good  husband,  give  her  many  fine 

98          Folk- Lore  of  the  M^csquakie  Indians. 

children,  let  her  be  pleasant  to  her  husband,  let  her 
husband  be  pleasant  to  her " ;  for  the  hair-string  : — 
"  Let  her  become  a  wise  woman,  a  woman-with-spots-on- 
her-face,  let  her  keep  herself  above  reproach,  let  her  be 
safe  from  witches  and  devils,  let  no  one  get  her  hair-string 
away  from  her,  let  her  not  work  sorcery  by  means  of 
her  hair-string."  A  "  woman-with-spots-on-her-face  "  is  a 
woman  made  fetish  in  her  girlhood  by  having  many 
Religion  dances  given  in  her  honour,  each  dance  entitling 
her  to  a  spot. 

Although  No.  4  consists  of  one  continuous  strip  with  forked  ends, 
it  may  conveniently  be  described  in  two  parts  : 

(a)  A  beaded  band,  670  mm.  long  by  20  mm.  broad,  worked  in  the 
pattern  shown  in  Fig.  4a.  The  bead-work  ends  diagonally,  and  the 
strings  are  woven  on  without  the  beads  to  a  length  of  440  mm.  on 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.  99 

one  side  and  a  length  of  108  mm.  on  the  other.  The  lower  portions 
of  these  interwoven  strings  are  enwrapped  in  blue  ribbon,  the  free 
ends  of  which  are  tied  together,  thus  making  the  strip  into  a  loop, 
consisting  of  bead-work  (Fig.  43.)  and  interwoven  strings. 

(&)  Below  the  blue  bow,  the  strings  continue  as  a  pair  of  similar 
queues.  Each  queue  begins  with  bead-work  20  mm.  broad  with 
a  ground  of  pink  beads,  and  the  pattern  shown  in  Fig.  4b.  After 
a  length  of  about  200  mm.  the  queues  fork  as  at  Fig.  4c,  but  the 
same  pattern  continues  until  at  135  mm.  lower  down  it  changes 
as  at  Fig.  4d.  About  135  mm.  beyond,  the  pattern  changes  to  that 
shown  in  Fig.  46,  and  225  mm.  lower  down  each  strip  forks  as 
shown  in  Fig.  4f.  These  8  terminal  portions  are  about  230  mm.  in 
length,  4  of  them  end  in  tassels  of  purple  and  orange  ribbons,  and  4 
in  blue  and  green  ribbons,  45  mm.  long. 

The  wrapper  is  of  black  cloth  on  the  outside,  and  measures  375 
mm.  by  142  mm.  The  ends  are  bound  with  green  ribbon.  At  each 
end  is  an  oblong  panel  of  bead-work,  one  measuring  1 1 1  mm.  by 
67  mm.,  the  other  98  mm.  by  68  mm.  Each  is  outlined  by  a  row  of 
white  beads.  The  design  is  the  same  in  both,  though  the  colours 
vary.  The  smaller  panel  is  shown  in  Fig.  4g.* 

5.  Silver  Earrings. 

6.  Silver  Finger  Rings. 

7.  Silver  Bracelets. 

All  silver  ornaments  are  talismans  and  amulets.  Silver 
is  "good  medicine"  always,  and  its  potency  is  increased 
and  diverted  when  it  is  cut  into  jewellery 
and  graven  with  "  luck "  characters.  The 
work  is  done  by  a  native  smith,  who  does 
not  invoke  the  aid  of  the  shaman. 
Formerly,  he  bought  his  silver,  in  long 
strips,  from  the  Mexicans  ;  now  he  sends 
to  Colorado  for  it,  and  receives  a  purer 
metal.  Unfortunately,  his  skill  is  not  what 





1  In  all  the  detailed  figures  the  heraldic  convention 
for  colour  has  been  adopted,  as  is  illustrated  in  the 
accompanying  figure.  A  further  distinction  has  been 
made  by  placing  the  lines  close  together  when  the 
colour  is  dark  and  drawing  them  far  apart  when  it  is 




j    Orange. 

ioo       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

it  was ;  so,  old  pieces  like  these  are  preferable  to  new  ones. 
The  seller  of  such  warns  the  buyer  to  clean  them  with 
a  lye  of  yucca  or  corncob  ashes  and  water  from  a  spring, 
or  caught  as  it  fell  from  the  clouds.  Bracelets  are  better 
medicine  than  other  silver  ornaments.  The  smith  works 
without  patterns  and  with  only  a  knife,  hammer,  and  awl 
for  tools. 

8.  Girl's  Woven  Bead  Necklaces.     (Figs. 
8a,  8b.) 

The  patterns  indicate  that  the 
woman-with-spots-on-her-face  prayed 
over  them  :  I  could  not  learn  what 
she  said. 

8a  measures  400  mm.  long  by  18  mm. 
broad.  The  pattern  is  shown  in  Fig.  8a. 

Sb  measures  348  mm.  long  by  23  mm. 
broad.  The  pattern  is  shown  in  Fig.  8b. 
The  oblique  ends  of  the  neck-bands  are 
bound  with  strips  of  leather  which  form  the 

9.  Married  Woman's  Necklace.     (Plate  I.,  fig.  9.) 

A  married  woman's  necklace  is  always  long,  worn 
loosely  and  with  ends  fastened  together,  while  a  girl's  is 
a  tight  band  round  the  throat.  A  widow  wears  no  woven 
necklace ;  but  after  the  ghost  has  been  carried  away 
she  may  adorn  herself  with  many  strands  of  beads  and 
glass  wampum. 

The  black  colour  is  to  show  that  the  shaman  pow-wowed 
it  ;  the  diamond  figure  is  the  symbol  of  her  secret  society, 
the  blue  "  heart "  is  help  in  the  realisation  of  her  maternal 
aspirations.  Long  ago,  the  Indian  wife  wore  turquoise 
necklaces  to  increase  her  fertility ;  now,  glass  beads  of  the 
turquoise  colour  or  much  darker  are  considered  as 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         101 

efficacious.  An  old  necklace  (such  as  this  is)  which  has 
belonged  to  several  mothers  of  large  families  is  more 
prized  than  a  new  one. 

The  weaver  says,  "  Make  me  have  children,  give  me 
many  children,"  hundreds  of  times,  as  she  works.  The 
shaman  mumbles  so  that  no  one  knows  what  he  says. 

Sometimes,  if  a  woman  is  anxious  to  possess  an  unusually 
fine  colt,  she  hangs  her  necklace  round  her  pony's  neck  for 
a  few  days. 

The  bead  necklace  is  mo  mm.  long  by  25  mm.  broad.  The  inside 
edges  of  the  bands  are  sewn  together  for  a  distance  of  about  1 5  mm. 
from  their  squared  ends,  which  terminate  side  by  side  in  tassels,  75 
mm.  long,  consisting  of  complicated  strings  of  turquoise  blue  beads. 
The  Pattern  is  shown  on  Plate  I.,  fig.  9. 

10.  Strings  of  Glass  Wampum. 

Worn  by  young  and  old,  married  and  single.  Four 
pounds  are  considered  enough  for  one  person  to  appear  in. 
The  wampum,  as  well  as  the  small  beads  for  woven  work 
is  imported  from  France  by  an  old  man  who  has  had 
a  monopoly  of  the  business  among  the  allied  tribes  for 
many  years.  He  says  he  is  told  the  beads  are  made 
in  Venice.  He  is  a  squaw-man  (man  with  an  Indian 
wife),  otherwise  he  would  not  have  such  a  matter  intrusted 
to  him. 

11.  Girl's    or    Woman's   Sleeveless   Bodice,    Ornamented  with 

Silver  Discs  and  Breastplates. 

With  this  must  be  worn  many  silver  bracelets,  so 
that  from  wrist  to  shoulder  the  arm  is  almost  covered 
with  them.  On  all  the  silver  pieces  are  lines  which 
are  equivalent  to  prayers.  This  bodice  is  such  good 
medicine  that  one  having  it  on  cannot  become  ill,  and 
one  who  is  ill  can  be  helped  by  donning  it.  But  for 
such  a  help  to  the  invalid  it  must  be  given  or  lent, 
not  hired. 

IO2        Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

12.  Girl's  or  Woman's  Sleeved  Bodice,  Ornamented  with 
Spangles  and  Ribbon,  and  having  Talisman  of  Bead 
Embroidery  on  che  Breast. 

The  little  oblong  talisman  is  supposed  to  cure  pain 
in  the  chest  ;  it  was  made  by  a  "  woman-with-spots-on- 
her-face."  The  bodice  itself  has  no  special  value. 

13.  Woman's     or     Girl's     Doeskin     Leggings,      Painted     and 

14.  Woman's  or  Girl's  Dance-Skirt. 

The  embroidery  is  a  good  "  medicine "  pattern.  It 
is  perhaps  worthy  of  remark  that  the  geometrical 
patterns  are  "  medicine,"  while  the  prettiest  floral 
designs  are  merely  ornamental.  If  a  dancer's  skirt  is 
what  it  should  be  she  will  not  trip  in  the  dance,  nor 
lose  step.  Unless  the  garment  is  an  heirloom,  she 
makes  it  herself.  The  embroidery  is  pow-wowed  before 
it  is  sewed  on.  The  shaman's  fee  is  generally  a  puppy 
or  hen. 

15,  15a.  Women's  Medicine-Bags.     (Figs.  15,  15a.) 

Next  in  importance  to  the  "  medicine  "  and  hair-string 
They  become  fetish  from  holding  the  "  medicine."  They 
are  not  made  with  any  ceremonies,  but  after  they  have 
held  the  "medicine"  for  even  a  very  short  time,  they  so 
partake  of  its  character  that  they  must  be  as  carefully 
concealed  as  it  is.  Ordinarily  the  bag  and  "medicine" 
are  worn  under  the  left  arm  ;  but  if  the  woman  has  a 
sick  child,  or  one  to  be  sent  where  there  is  danger,  she 
wraps  the  "medicine"  in  a  rag  and  fastens  it  in  the 
child's  scalp-lock,  or  under  its  arm,  and  hides  the  bag 
in  some  cranny  of  the  wigwam.  If  she  is  very  sick  her 
medicine  is  rolled  in  her  scalp-lock,  while  the  bag 
remains  under  her  arm. 

Catalogiie  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         103 

15.  Woman's  Medicine  Bag.     (Fig.  15.) 

Has  the  symbols  of  the-woman-with-spots-on-her-face 
(geometrical  figures)  because  it  belonged  to  one.  A 
medicine  bag  is  made  very 
privately  and  without  any 
ceremonies.  It  becomes 
fetish  only  after  it  has  held 
the  medicine;  but  it  con 
tinues  so  if  the  medicine  is 
taken  out  of  it. 

This  bag  is  90  mm.  square.  It 
is  made  in  two  strips  of  bead-work, 
70  mm.  long  and  45  mm.  broad, 
joined  together  side  by  side  to 
form  one  strip,  which  is  shown 
in  Fig.  15.  This  strip  is  doubled 
across  the  middle  and  sewn  up 
the  sides  to  form  the  bag.  It  is 
finished  off  at  the  top  with  a 
thick  roll  of  strings,  round  which  is 
wound  a  single  string  of  blue  beads. 
The  handle  is  of  very  long  white 
beads  in  imitation  of  dentalium 
shells,  separated  by  small  red  beads. 

In  Fig.  15  the  whole  pattern  is 
displayed,  one  half  of  which  forms  either  side  of  the  bag. 

15a.  Woman's  Medicine  Bag.     (Fig.  15a.) 

Has  the  symbol  (waved  lines)  for  running  water.     This 

indicates  that  the  "  medicine  "  or  fetish  was  taken  from  the 
water.  The  pattern  on  the  reverse  side  seems  to  be  merely 

IO4       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

This  bag  is  made  all  in  one  piece,  220  mm.  round  the  upper  edge 
and  95  mm.  along  the  base  line.  The  strings  at  the  top  are  finished 
off  in  buttonhole  stitch. 

The  patterns  are  shown  in  Fig.  I5a.  The  red  zig-zags  are  so  spaced 
with  brown  thread  that  they  appear  brown  in  certain  lights. 

16.  Woman's  "  Medicine."     (Plate  III.,  fig.  16.) 

This  is  the  object  dreamed  of  when  the  woman  had 
her  puberty-fast.  It  is  her  most  precious  fetish.  If 
she  lose  it  she  will  have  trouble,  sorrow,  need,  sickness, 
and  every  other  adversity,  ending  in  death,  which  will 
not  be  a  relief ;  for  her  spirit  must  wander  and  search, 
unable  to  set  out  for  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground  until 
it  is  found.  If  it  should  be  destroyed  she  would  die  at 
once,  but  her  ghost  would  not  be  vexed.  If  she  die 
with  it  on,  it  may  be  given  to  a  friend. 

This  specimen  consists  of  a  strip  of  fur  195  mm.  long  by  25  mm. 
broad.  It  was  originally  cut  into  three  tails  70  mm.  from  the  base  ; 
one  of  these  is  torn  away  and  the  other  two  are  sewn  together  for  the 
greater  part  of  their  length. 

17.  Woman's  Buckskin  Moccasins.     (Plate  IV.) 

With  bead  embroidery.  The  wearer  belonged  to  the 
Eagle  or  Bird  Clan,  for  she  has  her  totem  worked  into 
the  pattern.  For  one  not  of  the  totem  to  wear  them 
would  subject  her  to  ridicule. 

Right  moccasin,  260  mm.  long,  180  mm.  broad  across  the  flaps. 
The  ground  of  the  left  flap  is  of  a  deep  red  colour,  the  front  triangular  leaf 
is  green,  the  one  below  it  is  yellow,  the  upper  hinder  leaf  is  pale  blue, 
and  the  lower,  violet.  The  ground  of  the  right  flap  is  turquoise  blue  ; 
the  front  bird  is  green  ;  it  is  perched  on  a  red  leaf,  the  lower  leaf  being 
violet  ;  the  hind  bird  is  pink,  it  is  perched  on  a  black  leaf,  the  lower 
leaf  is  yellow.  On  the  top  of  the  moccasin  the  central  device  is  red,  the 
V-shaped  area  is  light  blue,  the  left  side  design  is  deep  blue,  the  right 
is  green,  the  left-hind  design  is  yellow,  and  the  right,  violet.  All  the 
designs  are  outlined  in  white  beads. 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         105 

18.  Buckskin  Moccasins  with  Applique*  Pattern  of  Silk. 

The  embroidery  is  merely  for  ornament.  The 
moccasins  could  be  worn  by  anyone  of  either  sex  in 
the  tribe,  if  a  man  could  keep  them  on.  The  woman, 
the  burden-bearer,  generally  has  the  larger  foot. 

19.  Woman's     or     Girl's     Cloth     Blanket    Ornamented     with 

Applique*  of  Ribbon. 

As  good  a  specimen  of  the  garment  as  can  now  be 
found.  It  is  an  imitation  of  the  old-time  whitened 
buffalo-robe  embroidered  with  porcupine  quills ;  but  it 
is  an  unworthy  imitation  at  best,  for  the  ancient  model 
had,  beside  the  gaily  painted  quills,  a  border  of  the  ivory 
teeth  of  the  elk  and  a  fringe  of  scalps  or  dyed  horse 
hair.  When  the  weather  is  fair,  the  blanket  is  doubled 
and  folded  about  the  skirt.  It  is  kept  in  place  by  a 
woollen  sash  tied  in  front.  When  the  weather  is  bad, 
the  wearer  unfolds  it  and  makes  it  serve  as  both  cloak 
and  hood. 

20.  Woman's  or  Girl's  Sash  made  of  Woollen  Yarn. 

It  has  the  appearance  of  a  tolerably  complicated 
knitting  pattern ;  but  the  fabricator  works  at  it  with 
incredible  swiftness,  and  never  stops  to  count  stitches. 
The  work  is  done  with  the  fingers,  without  the  aid  of 
needle  or  hook. 

21.  Bag  in  which  Dance  Costume  is  Packed  when  not  Worn. 
Woven    with    the    fingers.      The    cotton    threads    are 

fastened    round  wands   set    upright  in   the  ground.     The 
yarn  pattern  is  then  filled  in  with  the  fingers. 


22.  Chiefs  Scalp-lock  Ornament.     (Plate  III.,  fig.  22.) 
Eagle-feather  set  in  bone,  and  tipped  with  red  to  show 

that  the  wearer  had   killed  a  warrior.     The  bone  socket 

io6       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

is  decorated  with  feather  of  "  flicker "  (golden-winged 
woodpecker,  Colaptes  auratus},  a  bird  quite  as  revered 
a  magician  as  the  red-headed  species  (Melanerpes 
erythrocephalus).  A  scalp-lock  ornament  is  kept  with 
great  care,  as  it  helps  to  protect  the  soul.  As  the 
tearing  out  of  the  scalp-lock  makes  the  soul  at  its  root 
slave  of  the  one  thus  obtaining  it,  so  the  possession 
of  its  ornament  and  shield,  which  has  absorbed  some  of 
its  essence,  gives  the  possessor  the  ability  to  send  the 
rightful  owner  brain  fever  and  madness.  Also  the 
eagle  feather  is  a  badge  of  rank,  only  an  hereditary 
chief  and  his  relatives  having  the  right  to  wear  it.  A 
man  takes  the  same  care  of  his  scalp-lock  ornament  that 
a  woman  does  of  her  hair-string.  It  is  said  that  very 
intimate  friends,  after  mingling  the  blood  as  it  flows 
from  their  left  wrists,  have  been  known  to  exchange 
ornaments  as  a  further  proof  of  their  oneness  of  heart. 

The  total  length  of  this  specimen  is  about  440  mm.  It  consists  ot 
a  large  white  feather  with  a  brown  tip  inserted  into  a  bird's  bone  tube 
in  which  a  pair  of  lateral  holes  are  bored  across  the  bone,  correspond 
ing  holes  also  pass  through  the  shaft  of  the  feather  ;  below  these  the 
bone  is  perforated  by  a  slit  in  which  is  a  piece  of  bent  metal,  at  the  end 
of  the  bone  is  a  pair  of  holes  through  which  is  passed  a  leather  string. 
The  'flicker'  feather  is  inserted  in  one  of  the  lower  lateral  holes. 
The  underside  of  the  eagle-feather  is  decorated  with  a  central  plume 
consisting,  from  below  upwards,  of  white  fur,  hair  dyed  bright  red,  a 
band  sewed  round  with  black  fibre  in  which  are  inserted  strips  of  white 
porcupine  quills  arranged  in  bands,  in  the  centre  is  a  band  of  green 
quills  and  the  top  is  surmounted  by  white  fur  and  red  hair. 

23.  Youth's   Hawk's   Feather   Scalp-lock   Ornament   decorated 
with  Beaded  Ribbon.     (Fig.  23;  Plate  III.,  fig.  23.) 

Could  be  worn  by  any  youth  in  the  tribe,  but  after 
he  became  a  man  he  would  not  wear  it.  He  dare  not 
destroy  it;  that  might  make  his  soul  smaller;  he  would 
hide  it.  The  wearing  of  hawk's  feathers  makes  a  youth 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         107 

It  has  symbols  for  the  shaman  and  the-woman-with- 
spots-on-her-face,  showing  that  both  pow-wowed  the  work  : 
I  could  not  learn  what  the  large  figure  meant. 

This  scalp-lock  ornament  (Plate  III.,  fig.  23)  consists 
of  a  strip  740  mm.  long  by  12  mm.  broad,  which  forks 
after  a  distance  of  575  mm.  and  each  end  terminates 
in  a  tassel  of  red  wool.  At  the  other  end,  the  leather 
string  which  binds  the  end  of  the  bead-work  is  fastened 
to  the  shaft  of  a  hawk's  feather,  the  shaft  being  bound 
with  red  ribbon.  Some  dyed  feathers  are  sewn  trans 
versely  to  the  hawk's  feather. 

The  ground  of  the  bead-work  is  in  black,  with  a 
pattern  of  turquoise  blue  diamonds  with  yellow  centres, 
which  changes  just  above  the  fork  into  the  pattern 
shown  in  Fig.  23. 

24.  Scalp-lock  Ornament  of  Dyed  Hair. 

Worn  by  the  old  men  who  cling  to  the 
almost  obsolete  custom  of  having  all  the 
hair,  excepting  the  scalp-lock  shaved  off  or 
pulled  out.  Only  one  young  man  in  the  tribe  23 

now  has  his  hair  so  ornamented,  and  his  father  is  blamed 
for  having  it  thus  arranged  for  his  puberty  feast,  though 
all  admit  that  it  was  the  old  custom. 

25.  Scalp-lock  Ornament  of  Dyed  Cow's  Hair,  Porcupine  Quills, 
and  Feathers  of  Pinnated  Grouse. 

The  feathers  are  a  protection  against  sun-stroke. 

26.  Scalp-lock  Ornament  of  Cow's  Hair,  Porcupine  Quills,  Bone 
Wampum,  Brass  Beads,  and  Silver  Plate  with  engraved 
Arrows  forming  Rain-cross.  (Plate  V.,  fig.  26.) 

Worn  by  a  dancer  in  the  Religion  dance,  when  it  is 
given  to  bring  on  rain.  A  dangerous  ornament  for  one 
who  should  in  anyway  transgress  the  rules  of  the  dance. 
Nobody  tells  what  the  penalty  would  be.  Probably  only 
a  few  of  high  degree  know. 

io8       Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

The  length  of  this  object  from  the  top  of  the  metal  plate  to  the  end 
of  the  band  is  466  mm.  The  silver  plate  measures  54  by  37  mm.,  it 
is  decorated  with  a  crenulated  line  with  a  dot  above  each  apex,  two 
crossed  arrows  with  their  points  upwards  are  engraved  in  the  centre, 
and  between  these  are  four  stars.  Below  the  plate  are  three  pieces  of 
bone  wampum,  76-78  mm.  long,  above  and  below  there  are  several 
brass  beads.  Below  is  a  leather  band,  300  mm.  long  and  40-45  mm. 
broad,  on  which  are  fastened  six  narrow  leather  bands,  245  mm.  long, 
covered  with  bright  red  quill-work.  On  the  six  bands  there  are  two 
similar  designs  each  of  which  consists  of  four  parallel  white  bands  and 
two  shorter  bands  above  and  below  these  ;  all  are  bounded  above  and 
below  by  a  narrow  green  quill  band  ;  on  each  side  of  the  two  central 
white  bands  is  an  orange  band.  The  sides  of  the  main  band  are 
provided  with  three  pairs  of  looped  strips  of  red  quill-work,  the  end  of 
each  strip  terminates  in  a  metal  bugle,  from  which  depends  a  tuft  of 
orange  hair.  Below  the  six  long  bands  are  six  short  bands  40  mm. 
long,  also  bound  round  with  bright  red  quill-work.  Each  long  and 
short  band  terminates  in  a  metal  bugle  from  which  depends  a  tuft  of 
deep  red  hair.  The  large  tuft  of  cow's  hair  dyed  orange  is  about  500 
mm.  in  length,  and  is  attached  to  the  back  of  the  main  band  a  short 
distance  above  its  lower  end. 

27.  Shaman's  Scalp-lock  Ornament.     (Plate  V.,  fig.  27.) 

The  silver  plate  is  tied  at  the  root  of  the  scalp-lock. 
Below  the  plate  dangle  a  small  wand  ornamented  with 
silver,  ermine,  and  feathers,  and  strips  of  mink-fur  held 
together  by  beads.  The  value  of  silver  as  " medicine" 
has  already  been  referred  to ;  but  the  ordinary  tribes 
man  seems  not  to  know  why  his  shaman  pays  the  Ute 
or  Sioux  the  price  of  a  horse  for  the  skin  of  a  stoat  or 
ermine.  The  value  of  feathers  is  better  understood  by 
the  common  people.  Many  folk-tales  are  of  the  good 
fortune  attendant  on  those  who  have  a  feather  from  the 
plumage  of  these  sorcerers  that  are  birds  or  men  at 
will.  Of  course,  the  feathers  are  fetish.  So  too  is  mink- 
fur.  The  "  old  man "  wears  this  ornament  on  occasions 
of  ceremony.  Sometimes,  when  he  is  dancing  before  a 
sick  person  he  takes  it  off,  caresses  and  whispers  to  the 
little  wand,  and  then  replaces  it  on  his  head.  For 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         109 

ordinary  wear  he  has  a  silver  disc  the  size  of  a  crown- 
piece  at  the  root  of  his  scalp-lock,  to  conserve  the 
powers  of  his  soul. 

The  circular  silver  plate  is  64  mm.  in  diameter  ;  near  its  margin  is 
engraved  a  scalloped  circle  ;  the  space  within  this  is  filled  by  a  large 
six-pointed  plain  star,  in  the  centre  of  which  is  a  small  star  (this  alone 
appears  in  the  figure) ;  the  spaces  between  the  rays  of  the  large  star 
are  filled  by  fine  zigzag  engraving. 

The  wand,  which  is  about  220  mm.  long  (excluding  the  feathers),  is 
made  of  wood  and  bound  round  with  black  fibre,  with  two  series  of 
vertical  oblongs  of  quill-work,  the  oblongs  being  white  above  and  red 
below  on  one  side  and  red  above  and  white  below  on  the  other.  In 
the  centre  is  an  octagonal  silver  buckle  incised  with  a  scalloped  circle, 
at  each  end  a  band  of  white  fur  and  a  tuft  of  green  and  white 

The  two  fur  pendants  are  645  mm.  long  and  are  circular  in  section  ; 
80.  mm.  from  the  top  they  are  bound  with  several  rows  of  variously 
coloured  beads  ;  265  mm.  from  the  top  is  a  length  of  white  and  violet 
bead- work,  consisting  of  violet  squares  on  a  white  ground  and  of  white 
squares  on  a  violet  ground  ;  near  the  end  are  three  rows  of  bead-work, 
the  upper  one  is  pink  with  green  diamonds,  the  central  is  very  dark 
violet  with  yellow  diamonds,  and  the  lowermost  yellow  with  dark 
violet  diamonds  (the  two  lower  bands  appear  uniform  in  the  photograph, 
though  they  are  very  distinct  in  the  original).  From  the  lower 
border  depend  four  leathern  strings  which  end  in  metal  bugles.  The 
two  fur  pendants  are  fastened  together  above,  and  at  this  spot  hang 
down  two  flat  leathern  strings  (260  mm.  long),  the  upper  portion  of 
each  of  which  is  sewed  with  yellow  porcupine  quill-binding,  and  six 
short  leathern  strings  which  terminate  in  metal  bugles. 

28.  Scalp-lock  worn  as  Soul-protector.      (Plate  V.,  fig.  28.) 

After  a  dance,  or  other  ceremonial  that  calls  the  people 
together,  the  hospitably  inclined  make  feasts  for  their 
friends.  After  a  feast,  at  a  given  signal — a  war-whoop 
or  drum-tap — the  squaws  throw  sods  on  the  fire,  the 
young  men  throw  down  and  trample  the  torches.  Then, 
in  the  darkness,  anyone  may  attempt  to  tear  a  lock 
from  any  scalp.  A  few  bold  squaws  go  lock-hunting, 
but  the  majority  and  all  the  children  run  to  the  wigwams. 

iio      Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

Now  and  then  one  of  the  Amazons  has  a  tress  torn  out, 
but  it  is  not  of  much  value.  The  men  carry  knives 
with  which  they  cut  the  lock  they  tear  out,  if  it  is  held 
in  a  braid  or  bound  fast  in  any  way  at  the  lower  end. 
It  is  not  considered  "good  form"  to  take  a  lock  large 
enough  to  leave  a  conspicuous  bald  spot.  After  the 
melee,  everybody  goes  off  in  the  best  possible  humour. 
Many  Musquakies  disapprove  of  the  custom.  Those 
who  approve  say  that  the  little  lock  is  a  preventive  of 
madness,  melancholia,  cowardice,  and  dotage. 

The  total  length  is  600  mm.  and  the  breadth  12  mm.  The  pattern 
consists  of  a  zigzag  band,  the  upper  part  of  which  is  red  and  the  lower 
pink  with  blue  central  spots,  the  intervening  triangles  are  dark  blue. 
The  hair  does  not  look  like  human  hair. 

29.    Bead   Head-bands   with  pattern   showing   Secret    Society 
Emblems,     (a.  Plate  I.,  fig.  29;  b.  fig.  29b.) 

29a.    Head-band   with   Pattern   showing   Wearer's   Degree    in 
Clan  Society. 

It  belonged  to  a  man  high  in  the  Fish  or  Water  clan, 
and  has  in  it  the  cross,  the  symbol  of  the  Rain-Serpent 
Every  clan  is  said  to  have  in  its  highest  degree  devotees  of 
the  Rain-Serpent ;  but  it  is  considered  to  be  most  propi 
tious  to  the  Fish  clan.  The  Serpent,  one  must  remember, 
is  not  a  Totem,  but  a  malignant  being  that  all  the  Totems 
are  entreated  to  assist  in  placating ;  and  the  supposed 
favour  it  shows  the  Fish  clan  raises  this  clan  in  times  of 
drought  or  excessive  rains  above  even  the  Eagle  clan. 
Consequently,  this  degree  of  the  cross  in  the  clan  above- 
mentioned  is  the  most  important  in  the  tribe.  Though 
the  members  of  it  deny  every  assertion  made  about 
it  by  gossips,  there  is  a  belief  current  that  their  rites  are 
phallic.  When  there  is  to  be  a  Religion  dance  to  bring  on 
rain,  there  are,  beforehand,  many  meetings  of  the  men  who 
wear  these  symbols  on  their  heads  or  legs,  with  the  Fish 
clansmen  in  the  lead.  As  they  go  to  the  wigwam  where  they 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         1 1 1 

hold  the  meetings,  they  have  a  boy  walking  before  them 
with  a  live  snake  (a  water-moccasin,  or  rattle-snake)  in  a 
basket ;  and  they  hum  an  air  without  words,  and  make 
gestures  that  at  any  other  time  would  be  considered  in 
excusably  indecent.  At  the  door  of  the  wigwam  they  take 
the  snake  from  the  boy  and  send  him  away.  When  asked 
why  the  cross  symbolises  the  great  serpent  that  controls 
the  water  supply  of  the  heavens  and  the  earth,  the  women 
explain  that  a  long  time  ago  Manito-ah  laid  a  stick  across 
the  serpent  in  reminder  that  it  was  not  all-powerful,  but 
must  yield  to  him  ;  the  men  say  they 
don't  know. 

This  band  is  570  mm.  in  circumference  by 
30  mm.  The  ground  is  of  white  beads,  with 
alternate  blue  and  white  beads  along  the 
margin.  The  design  is  shown  in  Pate  I.,  fig.  29. 

29b.   "Luck"  Pattern  in  Head-band.1 

This  pattern  appears  in  both  leg  and 
head  bands.  Nothing  could  be  learned 
of  it  except  that  it  was  sure  to  bring 
good  luck  to  the  wearer.  When  asked 
if  it  were  a  society  band,  everyone  pre 
tended  not  to  understand  the  question, 
but  both  men  and  women  said,  "  Luck 
band,  luck  band,  bring  heap  good  luck." 

No.  290  measures  565  mm.  by  44  mm.  and 
is  fastened  together  at  the  ends  by  strings. 
The  pattern  is  shown  in  Fig.  29b. 


1  There  is  another  bead  head-band  which  is  more  than  a  mere  ornament.  Its 
pattern  is  a  bright  butterfly  on  a  blue  ground.  It  is  worn  to  cure  headache. 
It  is  noteworthy  because  there  is  a  belief  prevalent  among  the  Musquakies  that 
while  the  body  sleeps  the  soul  sometimes  escapes  from  the  bulb  at  the  root  of 
the  scalp  lock  and  wanders  about  in  the  form  of  a  butterfly.  In  consequence 
of  this  belief  it  is  considered  wrong  to  wake  a  friend  suddenly,  lest  his  soul 
might  be  absent  and  he  thus  be  rendered  idiotic.  Of  course  it  is  meritorious 
to  surprise  an  enemy  out  of  his  wits.  The  homeless  butterflies  are  greedily 
sought  and  eaten  by  devils,  as  the  eating  of  souls  increases  their  power. 

ii2       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

30.  Silver  Head-band  worn  as  Talisman. 
Prevents  diseases  of  the  head  and  blindness. 

31.  Silver  Earrings. 

32.  Silver  Earrings. 

33.  Shell  Wampum  Earrings. 

34.  Necklace  of  Beads  with  Carved  Bone  Ornament. 

The  blue  beads  are  fetish,  because  they  are  an  imita 
tion  of  turquoise.  Long  ago,  the  old  people  say,  they 
made  perilous  trips  to  the  southwest  and  obtained  tur 
quoise,  and  made  it  into  beads  that  kept  off  every 
misfortune.  It  is  singular  that  the  glass  imitation  is 
considered  as  efficacious. 

35.  Necklace  of  Glass  Wampum. 

Worn  at  dances  and  feasts,  and  by  both  sexes.  Men 
make  presents  of  it  as  if  it  were  genuine  wampum,  but 
they  never  throw  it  on  the  council-fire. 

36.  Necklace  of  "Dutch"  or  Bone  Wampum,  and  Beads. 
Bone  wampum   is  now  made  in   Connecticut  and  sold 

by  the  Indian  agents.  Tradition  says  it  was  first  manu 
factured  by  the  Dutch  of  New  York  to  take  the  place 
of  the  precious  clam-shell  wampum  of  the  natives.  It 
is  worn  by  dancers,  and  given  as  presents  to  those  who 
take  part  in  the  Religion  dance. 

37.  Necklace  of  Shell  Wampum. 

Made  of  the  shells  of  a  species  of  land  snail.  Worn 
at  the  dances  and  used  as  money. 

38.  Necklace  containing  all  the  most  precious  kinds  of  Wam 

pum — Ivory,  Cowrie,  Snail-shell,  White  and  Purple  Clam 
shell,  and  Brass  Beads  made  by  the  native  smiths 
from  cartridges. 

Four  beads  of  the  purple- wampum  are  cast  into  the 
great  council-fire  every  time  it  is  lighted.  They  are 
made  from  the  purple  spot,  or  "  eye,"  of  the  clam-shell. 

Catalogue  of  MusquaKie  Beadwork.         1 1 

A  whole  day's  work  is  required  for  one  bead.  This 
necklace  is  considered  worth  a  herd  of  ponies,  each  bead 
being  worth  a  pony  or  ten  dollars,  a  pony  being  a 
standard  of  value.  The  necklace  was  obtained  from  the 
widow  of  a  chief.  She  declared  it  was  genuine  when 
asked  if  it  was  not  a  glass  imitation.  The  purple  bead 
and  the  white  one  at  the  fastening  are  undoubtedly 
genuine  clam-shell ;  but  the  others  are  suspiciously  pretty 
and  regular.  They  are  said  to  have  belonged  to  Black 
Hawk — the  whole  necklace,  not  merely  one  sort  of  beads. 
When,  where,  and  how  the  long  ivory  beads  were  made 
has  been  forgotten.  The  material  for  the  brass  beads 
came  from  a  battle-field.  The  cowries,  so  the  Musquakies 
say,  were  a  long  time  ago  spit  into  a  chief's  hand  by 
a  man  who  immediately  after  ran  away. 

39.  Silver  Finger-rings. 

Turtle  and  Eagle  totems  are  engraved  on  them.  Turtle 
rings  are  worn  by  members  of  the  Fish  or  Water  Clan 
to  insure  long  life.  The  Eagle  ring  merely  indicates  the 
clan  of  the  owner,  and  does  not  affect  his  health  or  fortune. 

40.  Silver  Bracelets. 

"  Whoo-lau-kee-chee"  in  the  Musquakie  tongue,  meaning 
sacred  or  holy  band.  The  same  term  is  applied  to  a 
dancer's  bead-garter.  The  plural  is  whoo-lau-kee-chee-oc. 
Considered  very  good  medicine. 

41.  Bracelets  of  Porcupine-quills. 

"  W hoo-lau-kee-chee-oc?  The  name  seems  to  indicate 
that  the  shape  of  the  ornament,  and  not  its  material, 
makes  it  "medicine." 

42.  Dance-shirt. 

A  garment  bought  from  a  white  trader,  and  made 
worthy  to  be  worn  in  the  dances  by  the  work  of  men 
and  women  Musquakies,  the  men  making  the  silver  discs 
and  large  beads,  the  women  the  embroidered  "  breast- 

ii4      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

plate"  which   (with    the  shaman's  pow-wow  assisting)   is 
a  protection   from   diseases  of  the  lungs. 

43.  Embroidered  "Breastplate." 

Pattern  merely  ornamental,  but  the  materials  were 
"  pow-wowed  "  as  used  in  it ;  it  is  a  protection  from  diseases 
of  the  lungs. 

44.  Talisman. 

Worn    on    the   breast    as    protection   from    diseases    of 

the  lungs. 

45.  Talisman  to  be  worn  on  the 
Breast  as  protection  against 
Consumption.  (Fig.  45.) 

The  arrow  in  the  embroidery 
is  to  intimidate  the  devil  that 
enters  by  a  man's  mouth  (if  he 
leave  it  open  when  he  sleeps), 
and  gnaws  his  lungs.  Indians 
as  often  die  of  horror  of  their 
devil  as  of  the  consumption 

The  breastplate  of  bead-work,  125 
mm.  by  80  mm.,  is  sewn  on  to  a 
strong  foundation  of  leather.  The 
pattern  is  shown  in  Fig.  45. 

46.  Zerape  of  Buckskin  with  Sioux  Embroidery. 

Must  have  been  a  present  from  a  Sioux  visitor,  though 
a  Musquakie  wore  it  many  times  in  the  dances,  where 
it  was  distinguishable  from  other  such  garments  by  the 
beadwork,  but  not  by  the  material  or  shape. 

47.  Treaty-Belt    of    Glass  Wampum   passed  from  the  Sacs  to 

the  Musquakies.     (Plate  VI.,  fig.  47.) 

One  precisely  like  it  was  passed  from  the  Musquakies 
to  the  Sacs.  With  the  exception  that  the  pattern  is 
brown,  instead  of  purple,  it  is  a  very  good  copy  of  the 
treaty-belts  sent  to  the  first  white  settlers  with  whom 

Catalogue  of  Mitsquakie  Beadwork.          115 

the  Musquakies  had  dealings.  In  general  effect,  it  re 
sembles  the  still  more  ancient  belts  of  braided  brown 
bark  with  a  decoration  of  white  shell-wampum.  This 
belt  is  said  to  be  old — as  old  as  the  affiliation  of  the 
tribes ;  but  no  one  puts  a  date  on  its  manufacture.  At 
any  rate,  it  is  not  new,  for  the  beads  are  falling  apart 
from  the  rottenness  of  the  thread  on  which  they  are 
strung.  It  was  formerly  worn  by  the  head-chief  at  his 
council.  It  was  sold  as  a  revenge  for  the  affront  of  the 
Sacs  on  the  Nemaha  Reservation,  who  endeavoured  to 
have  the  few  Musquakies  on  that  reservation  expelled. 

The  length  is  1,450  mm.  and  the  average  breadth  100  mm.  The 
pattern  is  made  of  brown  transparent  beads  while  the  ground  is  made 
of  opaque  white  beads. 

48.  Bead-Belt  recounting  Tribal  History.      (Fig.  48 ;  Plate  VII., 
fig.  48.) 

Worn  during  the  dancing  by 
a  young  chief,  but  held  in  the 
hands  by  the  tribal  historian  as 
he  stands  by  the  council-fire 
recounting  what  it  commemo 
rates.  Its  story  is  of  the  flights 
of  the  tribe,  westward  from  the 
Iroquois,  eastward  and  south 
ward  from  the  Sioux,  and 
northward  from  the  Shawnees. 
It  is  not  so  interesting  as  the 
great  belts  that  tell  of  the 
kindnesses  of  the  lowas  and 
Ojibways ;  but  these  cannot 
be  bought,  nor  coaxed  away 
by  presents. 

The  belt  has  a  story  which 
is  duly  recounted  by  the  tribal 
historian  as  he  holds  it  up 
before  the  people  gathered  about  the  council-fire,  but 

1 1 6      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

he  does  not  seem  to  be  reading  it  from  the  pattern 
into  which  the  beads  are  woven.  He  speaks  as 
follows :  "  Rough  was  the  trail,  broken  was  the  trail, 
hard  for  the  young  braves  to  go  over,  too  hard  for  the 
old  men,  the  women  and  the  children  to  flee  along.  Cold 
were  the  days,  and  the  nights  colder  and  with  storms.  At 
first  came  rain,  and  then  the  snow  followed.  The  snow 
was  thick  in  the  air,  on  the  ground  ;  we  went  like  blind 
men,  like  lame  men,  stumbling  and  falling.  It  was  hard 
going  for  the  pursuers,  whose  bellies  were  broad  with  meat 
arid  corn ;  it  was  harder  for  us  who  fled  from  their  great 
numbers  with  our  belts  tightened  on  our  emptiness,  with 
our  legs  grown  thinner  than  a  deer's  legs,  and  our  short 
breaths  bursting  our  breasts.  Many  babies  died  on  their 
mothers'  backs.  Mothers  died,  and  there  was  none  to  take 
up  their  live  babies.  Many  children  fell  and  could  not  get 
up.  The  old  people  fell  down  and  died.  If  any  fell  and 
did  not  die,  the  friends  clubbed  them  out  of  pity  and  went 
on.  There  was  no  food.  There  was  no  fire.  The  people 
ate  roots  ;  they  ate  bark  and  worms,  if  they  could  find  any 
in  the  bark.  The  enemy  came  nearer.  They  came  nearer. 
They  sang  songs  louder  than  the  wind ;  they  gave  the 
war-cry  loud  and  terrible.  Our  men  were  poor  in  mind  : 
our  women  began  to  sing  their  death-songs  back  of  the 
tongue,  because  they  could  not  speak  out  ;  they  could  not 
raise  the  voice.  All  the  children  had  died.  All  the  old 
people  had  died,  and  many  young  mothers  and  braves. 
None  might  stop  and  mourn  for  the  dead  ;  they  received 
no  honour,  they  lay  unburied  ;  they  were  not  started  on 
the  Ghost  Road,  the  road  to  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground. 
Never  have  they  been  sent  to  the  Happy  Hunting  Ground. 
We  shall  not  see  them  again,  we  cannot  find  them." 
(Sounds  of  mourning  from  .the  assemblage.)  "But  the 
good  Manito-ah  had  not  forgotten  us.  The  good  Manito-ah 
had  the  hard  life  and  the  poor  mind  (grief,  melancholy)  of 
his  people  in  remembrance.  He  sent  buffalo  to  meet  them, 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          1 1 7 

many  and  easy  to  kill,  buffalo  with  fat  humps  and  delicate 
tongues  to  nourish  the  people.  We  had  much  meat,  meat 
in  plenty;  there  was  plenty  of  dried  meat,  of  pounded 
meat,  till  the  warm  winds  came ;  the  birds  came  and  the 
deer.  The  enemy  ceased  from  following.  The  people 
waited  in  pleasant  places.  The  grass  grew,  they  made 
wigwams  of  the  grass.  They  had  berries,  they  had  plums 
and  nuts.  The  women  bore  children.  The  new-born 
children  were  fat,  they  were  strong,  they  threw  out  their 
arms,  they  kicked  with  their  strong  legs  when  they  were 
newly  born."  (Grunts  of  satisfaction  from  the  audience.) 
"  The  enemy  came,  the  Dacotahs.  They  were  hunting 
when  they  came  upon  us.  They  came  upon  us  in  the 
Moon  of  Nuts  (October).  They  made  war  parties.  They 
were  very  many.  Our  people  had  not  enough  young  men 
to  kill  them  and  take  their  wives  and  horses.  Our  people 
went  away.  They  went  back  on  the  old  trail.  They  heard 
the  ghosts  calling.  They  were  poor  in  mind  when  they 
heard  the  ghosts  calling,  they  turned  from  the  old  trail. 
They  went  along  the  great  river,  they  faced  the  south 
wind.  They  went  a  long  journey.  They  went  to  the 
Shawnees.  The  Shawnees  were  very  pleasant.  They  met 
our  people,  the  fleeing  people  ;  they  comforted  us.  They 
built  fires.  All  night  they  cooked  the  pounded  corn,  the 
fat  of  deer  and  the  flesh  of  young  dogs.  They  fed  us  till 
our  bellies  were  tight  with  cooked  food  and  plums  mixed 
with  cherries.  Very  many  were  the  bowls  of  food  they 
gave ;  very  fine  were  the  new  clothes  they  gave,  and  beds 
of  furs  and  robes  well  tanned.  Our  people  had  friendship 
with  them  a  long  time  ;  we  went  out  with  them  to  hunt,  to 
steal  from  their  enemies,  to  kill  their  enemies  and  count 
coup x  on  them  and  bring  back  their  scalps.  The  Kickapoos 
spoiled  the  friendship.  They  told  crooked  words  (lies)  on 
our  people  ;  they  put  on  moccasins  like  ours  and  made 

1  Not  the  man  who  kills,  but  the  man  who  first  touches  the  body  gets  the 
credit  of  the  killing. 

1 1 8      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

trails  to  the  springs  ;  they  spoiled  the  springs  ;  they  killed 
some  of  the  old  blind  people  of  the  Shawnees,  and  the 
tracks  (footprints)  were  like  ours.  The  Shawnees  were 
deceived  ;  they  had  the  bad  heart  toward  us,  they  drove 
us  out.  No  more  we  hunted  together ;  no  more  we  made 
war  parties  together  and  scalped  the  enemies  and  counted 
coup,  and  brought  back  the  scalps  for  the  girls  to  dance 
with.  We  were  not  many  warriors  ;  though  the  women 
had  borne  many  children,  they  had  not  yet  grown  up.  We 
were  a  little  people,  though  strong  in  heart,  a  very  valiant 
people.  We  were  driven  away,  we  had  to  go  away.  We 
went  away  again  fleeing  by  night  and  by  day.  We  followed 
the  river,  and  came  into  a  pleasant  country  having  fruit 
and  nuts,  having  buffalo,  having  fish  in  the  waters,  having 
many  birds,  and  beasts  with  furs,  and  earth  suitable  for  the 
women  to  sow  with  corn  and  melons.  We  were  in  this 
good  country  a  long  time.  We  have  come  back  to  it. 
Many  children  have  grown  up  here  ;  we  are  now  a  great 
people,  the  tribe  is  strong.  All  this  the  belt  tells,  the  belt 
woven  in  the  house  of  the  historian,  as  he  desired  it  to  be 
woven,  as  he  commanded  it  to  be  woven,  as  he  commanded 
the  old  woman  to  weave  it,  as  the  old  woman,  She-an-o-ah, 
wove  it  as  he  commanded,  in  the  old  time,  telling  about 
the  old  time,  not  the  oldest  time  of  all,  the  time  of  the 
Brothers  before  all  other  times." 

The  bead- work  of  this  belt  is  570  mm.  long  by  76  mm.  broad,  and 
the  square  ends  are  finished  off  with  a  fringe  of  red  wool.  Each 
fringe  consists  of  seven  braids  of  wool,  into  which  the  weaving  strings 
are  plaited  for  a  short  distance  after  which  the  long  ends  of  the  wool 
are  left  loose.  The  entire  fringe  is  320  mm.  long  at  one  end  and  380 
mm.  long  at  the  other.  The  belt  is  shown  on  Plate  VII.,  fig.  48,  and 
the  detail  is  shown  in  Fig.  48. 

49.  Bead-belt  with  Secret  Society  Emblems.     (Fig.  49.) 

I  cannot  find  out  anything  about  this  belt,  except  that  it 
belonged  to  a  Fish  Clan  man  of  high  degree  and  that  it  has 
the  cross,  the  symbol  of  the  Rain  Serpent. 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         119 

This  belt  is  790  mm.  long  by  70  mm.  broad,  with  a  partly  braided 
fringe  of  various  brightly  coloured  wools  looped  round  the  binding  of 
calico,  which  borders  the  square  ends.  The  pattern  is  shown  in  Fig.  49. 

50.  Bead-belt  with  Secret  Society  Emblems.      (Fig.  50.) 

Each  of  the  seven    clans   of   the    Musquakies   has   its 

secret  society ;   and  each  society  has  its  emblems,  which 

are  displayed   in  the  painted  dots  and   lines  on  the  faces 

of  its  members,  and  in  the  belts  they  wear  at  the  dances. 

I  cannot  find  out  anything  about  the  patterns  in  this  belt. 

The  belt  is  1020  mm.  long  by  76  mm.  broad.     The  square  ends  are 

finished  off  with  fringes  consisting  of  9  plaits  of  red  wool  and  yellow 

I2O      Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

beads.  In  each  fringe  the  3  central  plaits  appear  to  have  been  made 
shorter  than  the  others  and  without  beads,  the  outer  plaits  have 
alternate  lengths  of  braided  wool  and  beads.  Each  plait  ends  in  a 
tassel  of  red  wool.  In  the  beaded  plaits  a  double  row  of  beads  placed 
alternately  to  one  another  is  made  by  threading  a  bead  on  to  each 
outside  string  of  the  plait.  Below  this  pattern  (which  occurs  at  the 
top  of  most  of  the  braided  elements  of  the  fringe)  are  alternate  lengths 
of  unbeaded  braiding  and  two  or  three  lengths  consisting  of  three 
single  rows  of  beads  (5-11  in  number)  threaded  on  the  three  strands 
of  the  plait,  and  themselves  treated  as  half  of  the  cycle  of  a  plait. 

51.  Bead-belt    with    Secret    Society    History    in  the  Pattern. 
(Fig.  51a,  51b ;  Plate  VII.,  fig.  51.) 



Such   belts   are   owned   by  the  shamans  of  the  secret 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         1 2 1 

societies.  It  is  said  that  at  the  meetings  of  a  society, 
the  shaman  takes  off  his  belt,  holds  it  in  his  hands 
and  recounts  the  history  for  which  it  stands,  but  this 
is  merely  hearsay;  no  secret  society  man  either  affirms 
or  denies  it.  The  secret  of  the  belt  is  jealously  kept 
by  those  who  know  it.  It  is  utterly  impossible  to  learn 
what  the  patterns  stand  for.  No  one  outside  the  cult  will 
know  until  the  Musquakies  give  up  the  ancient  religion. 

This  belt  consists  of  a  band  810  mm.  long  with  an  average  breadth 
98  mm.  terminating  at  each  end  in  4  narrow  strips,  about  350  mm. 
long  (but  the  length  is  variable)  and  18  mm.  broad.  Each  of  these 
strips  forks  65-70  mm.  from  the  ends,  which  are  finished  off  with 
tassels,  averaging  150  mm.  in  length,  made  of  red  wool.  The  pattern 
of  the  broad  belt  is  shown  in  Plate  VII.,  fig.  51,  and  the  details  are 
shown  in  Figs.  5ia  and  5ib,  the  latter  being  the  central  design. 
Owing  to  the  imperfections  of  the  photographic  process  the  patterns 
of  the  narrow  strips  do  not  appear  in  the  plate  ;  the  patterns  are 
practically  similar  in  all  the  strips,  though  the  colours  vary  :  the 
outermost  strip  at  each  end  has  a  black  design  on  a  yellow  ground  ; 
the  next  one  has  a  violet  design  on  a  yellow  ground  ;  the  next  one 
a  torquoise  blue  design  on  a  pink  ground  ;  the  innermost  one  a  black 
design  on  a  lavender  blue  ground. 

52.  Killikinnick  Bag  (Plate  VI.  fig.  52)  and  Society  Belt. 

These  bags  hang  from  the  belts  of  the  dancers  as 
conveniences  as  well  as  ornaments.  They  hold,  besides 
the  killikinnick  or  sacred  tobacco  (which  is  more  red 
willow  bark  and  partridge-berry  leaf  than  tobacco),  a 
variety  of  amulets,  such  as  the  stone  from  the  eye  of 
a  catfish,  a  round  pebble  and  stone  awl.  When  not 
worn,  they  serve  as  cases  to  pack  the  belts  in.  Some 
are  of  bead-embroidered  buckskin  ;  but  the  very  old 
ones  are  made  from  the  larger  intestine  of  the  buffalo, 
and  decorated  with  quill  embroidery. 

This  bag  is  made  of  a  folded  piece  of  soft  buckskin,  the  two  edges 
of  which  are  dentated  and  sewn  together  to  form  one  side  of  the  bag. 
The  top  upper  trefoils  of  the  bead-work  on  the  figured  side  are 
torquoise  blue,  the  stems  and  base  are  violet,  the  central  trefoil  is  deep 
red,  the  two  downwardly  projecting  lobes  are  green,  the  lower  side 

122       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

leaves  are  yellow  and  the  lowermost  blue  and  black.  On  the  other 
side  of  the  bag  is  a  different  design.  At  the  neck  of  the  bag  is  a 
leathern  fringe  and  above  this  an  interrupted  double  row  of  beads,  the 
upper  beads  being  yellow  and  the  lower  green.  At  the  bottom  of  the 
bag,  the  two  folds  are  cut  into  a  double  fringe  with  eight  flaps  on  each 
side  ;  these  are  bordered  with  beads  on  the  figured  side,  the  colours 
are  two  black,  two  white,  two  red,  and  two  green  :  on  the  other  side 
the  colours  are  more  varied.  The  total  length  of  the  bag  is  470 
mm.  and  its  breadth  200  mm. 

53.  Youth's    Bead-belt   of  Two   Patterns.     (Plate   I.,  fig.   53 ; 
Plate  VII.,  fig.  53.) 

The  two  patterns  indicate  that  he  has  lost  his  father  by 
death  or  divorce,  and  has,  consequently,  gone  over  to  his 
mother's  clan,  that  is,  has  become  according  to  tribal  law, 
the  son  of  his  maternal  grandfather  or  uncle.  Half  of  the 
belt  is  like  his  father's,  the  other  half  like  his  grandfather's. 

The  patterns  are  the  symbols  of  the  secret  societies  of 
the  youth's  father  and  nearest  male  relative  of  his  mother. 
Each  pattern  symbolises  not  only  a  clan  society  but  also 
the  degree  to  which  the  father  or  maternal  relative  had 
attained.  Indian  children  as  a  rule  are  fond  of  ornament. 
But  no  boy  willingly  wears  such  an  one  as  this ;  he  is 
ashamed  of  being  what  his  white  brother  would  call  a 
"  turncoat/'  and  his  red  companions  scoff  at  as  "  the  boy 
who  has  changed  his  clan  like  a  girl  who  has  married." 

In  addition  to  showing  what  the  father's  clan  and  degree 
were  and  the  mother's  next  of  male  kin  are  (the  father 
having  been  lost  by  death  or  divorce),  the  belt  has  its  story 
which  is  duly  related  to  its  unfortunate  possessor  by  his 
mother,  or  grandmother,  or  whosoever  wove  it.  Here  is 
the  story  of  this  belt,  which  belonged  to  George  Little- 
River  till  he  was  a  man  and  released  from  guardianship  : 
"  The  story  of  Little-River,  his  story  when  he  is  Little- 
River  of  the  Fish  Clan,  his  story  when  he  was  Brown 
Hawk  of  the  Eagle  Clan.  He  is  his  father's  child,  Big 
Catfish's  child.  He  is  his  mother's  child,  Sweetwater's 
child,  she  bore  him.  She  is  the  daughter  of  Big  Catfish. 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         123 

He  has  her  in  his  wigwam,  he  has  Little-River  in  his  wig 
wam.  Little-River  was  not  there  always,  he  was  in  the 
wigwam  of  his  father,  in  the  wigwam  of  Green  Hawk,  his 
father.  Green  Hawk  died,  he  went  over  the  Ghost  Road, 
he  waited  for  no  one.  A  devil  in  his  breast  killed  him,  a 
little  devil,  little  and  stubborn.  It  would  not  come  out,  it 
would  not  come  out  for  the  shaman  or  the  dancers ;  he 
died  by  it,  though  much  was  spent  that  the  shaman  and 
the  dancers  might  overcome  it.  He  was  a  brave  man. 
Green  Hawk  was  a  brave  man,  he  was  a  warrior  terrible  to 
his  enemies,  but  he  could  not  kill  the  little  devil,  he  could 
not  overcome  it.  Great  was  the  mourning  for  him,  Sweet- 
water  and  his  friends  wept  blood  for  him.  Now  she 
has  gone  back  to  her  clan,  the  clan  she  was  born  in,  her 
father's  clan,  the  clan  of  Big  Catfish,  her  father.  She  has 
taken  the  boy  to  the  clan  ;  he  is  of  the  clan  ;  his  name  is 
Little-River ;  he  is  the  beloved  of  his  people  ;  he  has  for 
gotten  his  father,  Green  Hawk's  people ;  they  are  his 
relatives  no  more.  He  is  truly  a  son  of  Big  Catfish  ;  his 
belt  puts  him  in  mind  of  Green  Hawk,  but  Green  Hawk's 
people  are  not  his  people.  Happy  is  Big  Catfish  that  he 
has  a  young  son  for  his  old  age.  The  belt  tells  it,  it  tells 
Little-River  everything." 

There  is  no  secrecy  about  this  recital,  anyone  is  welcome 
to  hear  it.  It  is  chanted  instead  of  spoken,  and  is  never 
varied  by  a  syllable. 

The  bead-work  of  the  belt  which  is  shown  in  Plate  VI L,  fig.  53,  is  866 
mm.  long  with  an  average  breadth  of  45  mm.,  and  is  worked  on  black 
threads.  The  patterns  on  the  two  halves  of  the  belt  are  quite  different, 
the  junction  of  the  two  patterns  and  the  colour  scheme  of  the  belt  are 
shown  in  Plate  I.,  fig.  53.  The  lower  portion  is  divided  into  4  by  the 
colours  of  the  ground-work,  which  is  black  and  light  blue  alternately. 
On  the  black  background  is  a  pair  of  central  yellow  designs,  next  to 
these  are  similar  designs  in  blue,  and  beyond  again  are  pink.  On 
one  blue  background  is  a  pair  of  central  designs  in  black,  next  to 
these  are  similar  designs  in  yellow,  and  beyond  again  are  pink. 
The  terminal  blue  portion  has  a  pair  of  red  and  yellow  designs  and  is 
probably  unfinished. 

124      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

54.  Man's  Medicine  Bag.     (Fig.  54.) 

Has  the  symbols  for  woman- with-spots-on-her-face, 
probably,  because  she  made  it ;  of  the  shaman,  from  the 
idea,  perhaps,  that  any  black  beads  would  be  lucky,  and  a 
representation  of  an  animal  which  I  was  told  was  the 
owner's  totem.  This  statement  I  put  no  faith  in,  as  the 
creature  depicted  bears  a  slight  resemblance  to  a  mountain 
lion  and  none  to  the  Musquakie  totems,  which  are  Eagle, 
Fox,  Bear,  Antelope,  Beaver,  Fish,  Raccoon. 

This  bag  is  no  mm.  long  and  98  mm.  deep,  and  is  made  all  in  one 
piece.  The  top  is  bound  with  black  ribbon,  bordered  on  its  lower 
edge  with  an  incomplete  row  of  beads.  The  base  of  the  bag  is  bound 
with  a  piece  of  dark  green  ribbon,  the  ends  of  which  project  40  mm. 
beyond  the  bag  on  either  side.  The  ribbon  is  bordered  by  rows  of 
variously  coloured  beads.  Fig.  54  shows  the  design  on  both  sides. 

55.  "  Medicine."     (Plate  III.,  fig.  55.) 

This  eagle's  claw  was  worn  as  a  "  medicine "  because 
the  owner  of  it,  at  the  time  of  his  puberty  fast,  dreamed 
of  an  eagle.  Before  he  could  be  recognized  as  a  man  by 
the  tribe,  he  must  have  obtained  some  portion  of  the  bird 
without  harming  or  causing  another  to  harm  it ;  though, 
if  he  saw  a  bird  killed  by  a  hunter  who  had  no  know 
ledge  of  his  need,  he  might  secretly  possess  himself  of 
a  feather  or  claw ;  or,  it  would  be  no  crime  for  him  to 
steal  an  old  feather,  bone,  or  claw,  even  from  the  head- 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         125 

chief.  Ordinarily,  if  one  desire  a  thing-,  it  is  enough  to 
say  to  the  owner  "  I  dreamed  of  this,  give  it  me " ;  but 
for  the  life-medicine  this  may  not  be,  as  no  one  may 
know  what  the  medicine  is  till  death  reveals  the  secret. 

56.  Shaman's  Medicine-bag.     (Fig.  56.) 

An  inconvenient  size  for  carrying  inside  the  shirt,  but 
there  it  must  be  kept.     Besides  his  "  medicine,"  it  should 
contain  a  number  of  amulets,  packets 
of  squirrel,  grouse,  woodpecker,  duck, 
and    cuckoo    or    "rain-crow"    bones, 
and  a  pipe  or  tube  for  sucking   the 
demons  of  disease  from    the    bodies 
of  the  sick. 

It  has  a  pattern  commonly  used  on 

moccasins.  It  was  a  gift  to  the  shaman  from  a  woman 
who  believed  his  pow-wow  cured  her  lame  foot. 

This  bag  without  a  handle  measures  165  mm.  by  125  mm.,  it  is 
made  on  strong  leather  and  lined  with  red  flannel,  the  bead- work  is  on 
one  side  only.  It  consists  of  four  broad  bands  of  pink  diamonds  on  a 
violet  ground,  separated  by  yellow  bands  with  black  squares  or 
rhomboids,  as  shown  in  Fig.  56.  The  base  of  the  bag  has  a  double 
leathern  fringe,  the  ends  of  which  are  15  mm.  long  and  70  mm.  long 
respectively,  and  the  longer  strips  bear  metal  bugles  at  their  ends. 
From  one  side  of  the  upper  edge  of  the  bag  depend  three  strings  of 
alternate  plaited  red  wool  and  yellow  beads,  each  ending  in  a  red 
tassel,  the  strings  being  essentially  similar  to  those  which  form  the 
fringe  of  No.  50. 

57.  Pipe  or  Tube  for  sucking  Disease  from  the  Bodies  of  the 

Sick.     (Plate  III.,  fig.  57.) 

The  shaman,  after  some  hours  of  dancing,  singing,  and 
praying  around  his  patient,  announces  that  the  devil  is 
now  stupefied,  and  that  the  time  has  come  to  draw  him 
out.  He  then  bares  the  afflicted  part  of  the  body,  applies 
the  pipe,  and  sucks  with  great  vigour.  From  time  to  time 
he  turns  his  back  to  the  invalid,  spits,  shakes  his  head 
at  the  result,  and  falls  to  sucking  again.  Finally,  he 

126      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

announces  to  the  patient  and  those  waiting  at  the  door 
of  the  wigwam  that  he  now  has  the  disease-devil,  at  the 
same  time  displaying  in  his  palm  a  spider,  toad,  or  other 
little  ugly  insect  or  reptile.  Immediately  the  patient  is 
forsaken,  all  the  friends  and  spectators,  led  by  the  shaman 
himself,  escort  the  devil  across  a  stream  of  running  water. 
The  shaman  drops  it,  then  all  race  back,  hand  over  mouth, 
lest  the  devil  enter  one  of  them.  The  pipe  is  purified  by 
being  laid  on  a  hot  stone  encircled  by  embers,  on  which 
tobacco  is  sprinkled.  After  the  purification,  the  pipe  is 
returned  to  the  bag  under  the  shaman's  arm. 

The  tube  is  made  of  a  grained  grey  stone  and  is  125  mm.  in  length  ; 
at  one  end  is  an  old  fracture.  The  tube  is  oval  in  section  with  flattened 
sides,  the  bore  is  oval  at  the  smaller  end  and  circular  at  the  broken 

58.  Leggings  of  Fringed  Doeskin. 

Evidently  an  old  pair,  for  they  are  beautifully  tanned. 
The  tanning  shows  that  it  is  the  work  of  a  Musquakie 
woman,  the  women  of  this  tribe  having  been  famous  for 
their  skill  at  this  work.  Now  they  have  no  deer,  and  in 
consequence  buy  their  skins  from  the  Utes,  who  misuse  a 
skin  so  that  it  looks  brown  and  woolly.  The  Musquakie 
women  have  lost  the  secret  of  their  tanning. 

59.  Breech-clout  or  Gee-string  of  Embroidered  Cloth. 

Sold  by  its  former  owner,  a  proof  that  environment 
affects  even  a  Musquakie.  A  decade  ago  a  man  would 
have  parted  with  his  scalp-lock  almost  as  readily  as  with 
this  article  of  his  attire.  When  one  was  too  shabby  to 
wear  it  was  burned,  and  the  ashes  scattered.  It  was  a 
thing  to  conjure  by,  and  is  yet  with  the  old  people.  Who 
soever  obtained  it  had  the  owner  in  his  power. 

60.  Pair  of  Leg-bands  or  Garters.     (Plate  II.,  fig.  60.) 

"  Whoo-lau-kee-chee  "  is  the  name  applied  indifferently  to 
this  indispensable  article  of  a  dancer's  dress,  and  to  brace- 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          1 2  7 

lets.  It  is  a  holy  name,  the  Musquakie  will  tell  you,  and 
not  to  be  uttered  lightly.  A  garter  is  fetish,  woven  with 
many  prayers  and  incantations,  the  shaman  being  as  busy 
day  after  day  as  the  woman  who  weaves  the  beads.  The 
pair  sometimes  matches  the  sash  in  colour,  but  never  does 
in  pattern.  The  pattern  may  be  the  dancer's  society- 
emblem  or  merely  ornamental,  but  prayers  must  go  into 
every  inch  of  it.  If  the  prayers  were  omitted  at  any  stage 
of  the  work,  the  dancer  who  wore  the  garters  would  spoil 
the  dance  by  stumbling  or  making  mistakes  in  the  evolu 
tions.  The  garters  are  tied  over  the  leggings  below  the 
knee,  and  the  fringed  ends  hang  in  a  long  tassel  at  the 
outer  side  of  the  leg. 

In  No.  60  the  pattern  is  said  to  represent  the  dance- 
house.  Why,  no  one  can  explain,  as  the  dance-house  is 
always  either  round  or  oval.  The  small  crosses  in  the 
diamond  figure  are  to  show  that  the  owner  has  danced 
for  rain,  in  the  Religion  dance  given  by  his  secret  society, 
and  been  successful  in  producing  it.  The  colours,  red, 
blue  and  green,  yellow  and  white,  represent  the  cardinal 
points  ;  blue  or  green  (considered  one  colour)  representing 
the  north,  yellow  the  east,  white  the  south,  red  the  west. 
This  means  that  the  dancer  has  gone  around  the  dance- 
house  without  making  a  mistake. 

The  weaver's  prayer,  sung  over  and  over  as  long  as  the 
work  goes  on,  is  not  displeasing  to  the  ear  the  first  few 
times  it  is  heard,  but,  undoubtedly,  the  good  Manito-ah 
must  be  considered  by  his  devotees  to  have  cultivated 
his  patience  at  the  expense  of  his  taste  for  music,  if  one 
may  judge  by  the  effect  of  hundreds  of  repetitions  of  the 
said  prayer  on  an  ordinary  listener. 

The  prayer,  "  Whoo-lau-kee-chee,  whoo-lau-kee-chee-oc 
(oc  is  the  plural  termination),  whoo-lau-kee-chee,  whoo- 
lau-kee-chee-oc.  Best  dancer  of  all,  best  dancer  of  all, 
pleasing  to  Manito-ah,  pleasing  to  Manito-ah,  who  will 
make  him  lead  perfectly,  who  has  made  him  lead  perfectly, 

128       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

who  will  make  his  legs  more  supple,  who  will  make  his 
legs  more  supple,  who  will  make  him  lead  perfectly,  who 
will  make  him  turn  perfectly,  who  will  make  him  lead 
perfectly,  who  will  make  him  turn  perfectly  because  he 
has  already  done  well,  because  he  has  already  highly 
honoured  Manito-ah  in  the  dance.  Help  him,  good 
Manito-ah,  continue  to  help  him,  good  Manito-ah,  help 
the  dancer,  good  Manito-ah,  and  help  the  old  woman  to 
weave  his  beads  well  that  they  may  have  no  fault  in 
them,  but  be  perfectly  done  and  increase  his  strength." 

The  bead- work  of  the  leg-bands  measures  313  mm.  by  72  mm.  and 
the  fringe  350  mm.  The  design  is  shown  in  Plate  II.,  fig.  60.  The 
fringe  consists  of  nine  braids  of  wool  into  which  the  weaving  strings 
are  plaited  for  a  short  distance,  after  which  the  long  ends  of  the  wool 
are  left  loose.  The  outermost  and  central  plaits  are  blue,  the  remain 
ing  ones  are  red. 

61.  Pair  of  Leg-bands  or  Garters.     (Plate  II.,  fig  61.) 

It  was  worn  by  Blue  Water,  a  member  of  the  Fish  Clan. 
He  discarded  it  when  he  attained  to  high  rank  in  his 
society.  One  might  call  it  a  beginner's  band,  though 
beginners  and  experts  alike  wear  patterns,  if  they  choose, 
which  are  merely  ornamental.  The  black  colour  in  it  is 
"the  shaman's  colour."  Wherever  it  appears  it  indicates 
that  the  shaman  has  prayed  over  the  work. 

The  bead-work  of  the  leg-band  is  312  mm.  long  by  72  mm.  broad, 
and  the  fringe  of  plaits  and  loose  ends  of  red  wool  is  325  mm.  in  length. 

62.  Leg-band  made  without  the  Shaman's  Symbol.     (Plate  II., 

fig.  62.) 

The  pattern  is  said  to  be  merely  ornamental  and  worn 
by  a  poor  man  because  he  could  not  afford  to  pay  the 

The  bead-work  of  the  leg-bands  is  325  mm.  long  by  40  mm.  broad, 
and  the  fringe,  consisting  of  7-9  plaits  of  red  wool  with  loose  ends  is 
288  mm.  long.  The  pattern  at  each  end  is  shown  in  Plate  II.,  fig.  62  ; 
in  the  centre  is  a  similar  blue  design,  to  the  apices  of  the  outer 
triangles  of  which  is  added  the  design  shown  at  the  bottom  of  the 

Catalogice  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         129 

63.  Leg-band  worn  to  prevent  Child  from  having  the  Measles. 
(Plate  II.,   fig.  63.) 

Symbol  of  "  the-woman-with-spots-on-her-face,"  or  her 
protecting  power.  The  pattern  is  taken  from  the  little 
wooden  cubes  and  triangles  she  makes,  and  paints 
according  to  her  fancy,  and  then  hides  in  a  cranny  of  her 
wigwam.  Of  the  objects1  she  has  as  many  as  she  has 
spots  on  her  face,  and  the  more  she  has  the  greater  her 
power  and  the  more  potent  the  talisman  she  has  not 
only  prayed  over  but  "  put  herself  into  "  by  allowing  the 
bead  worker  to  see  the  objects  and  picture  them.  Only 
one  leg-band  of  this  description  is  put  on  a  child. 

This  band,  which  measures  165  mm.  long  by  27  mm.  broad,  is  tied 
on  to  the  leg  by  a  central  plait  of  strings  at  each  end.  Above  and 
below  this  central  plait  are  beaded  plaits  with  double  rows  of  beads  as 
described  under  No.  50.  At  one  end  the  bead  plaits  are  alternately  pink 
and  dark  blue,  and  at  the  other  end  mostly  pink.  Each  plait  ends  in 
three  beaded  strings. 

64.  Baldrick  and  Pocket.     (Figs.  64a-64d.) 

The  Indians  have  no  adequate  translation  of  their  name 
for  this  showy  article  of  dress.  Some  say,  "Maybe  so, 
sack,"  but  the  greater  number  decline  to  give  it  an  English 
name.  They  call  it  "  wo-yoo"  hider,  or  a  place  to  hide 
things.  In  an  involved  explanation  of  its  uses  they  so 
define  it,  but  they  will  not  call  it  "  the  hider "  in  so  many 
words.  They  keep  in  it  such  things  as  one  finds  in  a 

I  cannot  find  out  anything  about  this,  very  few  men 
possess  one. 

The  baldrick  measures  mo  mm.  in  length  and  120  mm.  in  breadth, 
exclusive  of  the  scalloped  border  of  blue  beads.  The  bead-work  is 
mounted  on  the  selvage  of  a  black  blanket  with  a  green  border.  The 
ends  are  bound  with  green  ribbon  and  the  sides  with  red,  beyond 
which  projects  a  scalloped  border  of  blue  beads.  The  centre  of  the 
baldrick  at  the  back  of  the  neck  has  the  design  shown  in  Fig.  64c,  and 

1  The  low-class  women  of  the  tribe  declare  that  the  women-with-spots  play  a 
gambling  game  with  one  another  using  these  objects,  but  this  the  women  them 
selves  deny. 


130      Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

the  pattern  all  down  the  left  side  is  that  shown  in  the  lower  half|of  the 
figure.  For  half  the  length,  the  ground  colouring  is  the  same  as  is 
shown  in  the  figure,  the  following  quarter  has  a  turquoise  blue 
ground,  with  patterns  in  red,  green  and  blue.  In  the  last  quarter,  owing 
to  the  panels  of  the  ground  being  worked  in  dark  colours,  and  each 
panel  in  a  different  colour,  the  design  at  first  sight  appears  to  be 
different  from  the  preceding  :  the  patterns  are  in  varied  coloured 

On  the  right  side  of  the  baldrick  the  pattern  is  in  the  main  that 
shown  in  Fig.  64b,  but  the  upper  interspaces  between  the  central 
designs  vary  from  those  shown  in  the  lower  interspaces  (Fig.  64b). 

The  pocket  is  310  mm.  broad  and  220  mm.  deep,  with  a  narrow  cloth 
flap  above,  which  is  fastened  down  with  two  hooks  and  eyes  in  the 
middle.  A  piece  of  linen  lines  the  bead-work,  and,  being  unattached 
at  the  upper  edge,  thus  forms  a  double  pocket.  The  detail  of  the 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          131 

central  design  of  the  bead-work  is  shown  in  Fig.  643.  ;  the  lateral 
designs  are  the  same,  but  differ  in  colour.  The  fringe  consists  of  18 
bands,  85  mm.  long  by  15  mm.  broad,  terminating  in  ribbon  tassels  of 
different  colours.  The  patterns  of  I  and  2  are  shown  to  the  left  of 



Fig.  64d,  the  triangles  in  the  one  case  being  red  and  green,  and  in  the 
other,  light  and  dark  blue.  3  and  4  and  u  and  12  have  the  same 
pattern,  the  triangles  being  red  and  light  blue  in  3,  dark  blue  and 

132      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

yellow  in  4,  pink  and  green   in  n    and    12.     5    and  6  have  similar 
designs,  but  in  the  former  the  triangles  are  red  and  green.     7,  8,  9,  10 

are  shown  in  the  figure.  13  and  14  have  the  same  design,  but  in  13 
the  dark  blue  triangles  are  on  a  white  ground.  15,  1 6,  17,  1 8  are 
shown  in  the  figure. 

65.  Moccasins. 

"  By  their  tracks  we  know  them  "  is  an  Indian  saying. 
A  man  may  have  a  coat,  shirt,  even  his  silver  and  beads 
from  another  tribe,  but  he  must  wear  the  shoes  of  his 
own  people.  The  pointed  Apache  boot,  the  broad  Sioux 
slipper  with  a  stitched-on  rawhide  sole,  the  Cheyenne  shoe 
with  a  tassel  at  the  heel  to  leave  its  mark  in  the  dust,  the 
Shoshone  shoe  with  pointed  tongue  lying  high  on  the 
ankle,  the  Musquakie  shoe  with  sole  and  upper  in  one 
piece,  are  the  incontrovertible  proofs  of  origin  and  affilia 
tion,  and  the  man  who  changes  the  style  of  his  shoe  is  the 
"  turn-coat  "  despised  by  all  the  tribes.  A  woman  married 
into  another  tribe  changes  her  shoes  with  honour,  but  a 
man  cannot. 

66.  Shaman's  Moccasins. 

The  shape  of  those  worn  by  other  members  of  the  tribe, 
but  the  embroidery  is  different.  The  pattern  always  con 
tains  some  sprawling  black  and  white  lines  and  patches. 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          133 

No  one  claims  that  they  have  any  special  significance, 
nevertheless  they  always  appear.  The  shaman's  wife  or 
mother  is  never  put  to  the  trouble  of  making  his  foot 
wear  ;  it  is  given  him  as  an  additional  fee  when  he  cures  a 

67.  Shaman's  Horned  Bonnet. 

This  horrible  head-dress,  made  of  buffalo  horns,  strips 
of  stoat  or  ermine  skin,  red  flannel,  eagle's  feathers,  and 
wild  turkey  feathers,  is  in  itself  a  wonder-worker.  The 
sight  of  it  hanging  on  a  pole  is  good  for  minor  complaints. 
This  one  is  old  ;  if  it  were  new,  it  would  not  have  on  it 
the  horns  of  a  buffalo.  At  best,  it  would  have  the  horns 
of  a  bull  of  the  wild  range-cattle.  It  might  even  be  horn 
less,  and  so  of  little  power,  merely  a  badge  of  the  profession. 
When  the  shaman  dances  with  a  really  fine  horned  bonnet 
on,  he  is  irresistible,  unless  some  demon  has  stolen  a 
bonnet  like  it  and  is  dancing  in  the  woods  or  underground. 

68.  Shaman's  Coat  of  Painted  and  Beaded  Buckskin. 

Worn  till  he  grows  so  warm  in  the  dance  that  he  has  to 
throw  it  off.  It  is  a  poor  and  unhonoured  shaman  who  has 
not  one  or  more  of  these  garments,  scarce  as  buckskin  has 
become,  for  a  coat  is  the  standard  for  fees  as  a  pony  (two 
pounds)  is  a  standard  for  barter.  A  shaman  will  say  he 
will  charge  a  coat,  or  a  half  coat,  or  a  quarter,  or  even  a 
smaller  fraction. 


69.  Dancer's  Hand  Rattle  of  Hide  filled  with  Stones. 
Every  dancer  adds  what  he  can  to  the  din  that  keeps 

time  to  the  dancing.     Above  the  boom  of  the  great  drum 

JThe  following  information  was  sent  by  the  authoress  in  a  letter  to  Mr. 
Hartland  : 

"You  ask  me  to  name  those  musical  instruments.  I  can't  do  it  in  Indian 
very  well.  They  give  the  English  names — the  Indians,  I  mean — and  make 
the  signs  for  the  Musquakie  names.  Some  objects  have  no  name  except  this 
pantomime  that  can't  be  put  into  a  catalogue.  For  a  rattle,  an  Indian,  a 
Musquakie — or  any  other  Algonquin  that  ever  I  saw — makes  a  swishing 

1 34      Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

and  the  "  yi-yi "  of  voices  which  is  the  red  man's  equivalent 
of  singing,  is  heard  a  sound  like  hail  falling  on  water.  It 
is  caused  by  rattles  held  in  the  hands,  or  bound  above  the 
garters,  on  the  knees  of  the  dancers.  This  sort  is  the 
favourite  because  it  is  the  noisiest.  It  is  not  considered 
sacred  or  treated  with  any  respect  when  not  in  use,  but  is 
stuck  in  a  rift  in  the  wigwam,  or  left  on  the  floor  for  the 
children  to  play  with.  One  was  found  by  a  visitor  among 
a  litter  of  puppies. 

sound  through  his  teeth  and  motions  as  if  he  were  shaking  a  rattle.  If  he 
wishes  you  to  understand  that  he  refers  to  a  turtle-rattle  he  gives  a  sidewise 
jerk  as  if  he  were  rolling  off  a  log  into  the  water.  If  he  refers  to  a  knee- 
rattle  he  gives  the  sign  and  then  touches  his  knee.  Sometimes  '  Ma-see-ka ' 
is  said  ;  the  word  means  turtle.  For  a  drum,  he  says,  '  Toom-toom '  (not 
'  tom-tom ')  and  imitates  the  pounding  with  his  right  hand  and  arm,  generally, 
though  '  lay-ow-low-see '  is  the  word  for  it. 

The  courting  flute  is  '  way-ne-lo,'  but  the  word  is  not  used.  Instead,  one 
points  to  a  woman  or  bends  his  head  as  if  he  were  a  woman  with  a  burden  and 
with  his  fingers  and  lips  imitates  a  flute-player. 

The  ghost-whistle  is  '  wah-now-skee-way-ne-lo,'  but  the  word  is  unlucky  and 
is  not  used.  The  sign  is  to  make  rings  of  your  thumbs  and  fore-fingers  and  place 
them  round  your  eyes  to  indicate  the  great  hollow  eyes  of  a  ghost,  then  purse  up 
the  lips  as  if  about  to  whistle,  at  the  same  time  pointing  the  index  finger  of  the 
right  hand  from  the  lips  as  if  it  were  a  whistle,  and  then  the  arms  are  widely 
extended  and  then  brought  together  on  the  breast  as  if  embracing  some  one.  If 
one  does  this  after  pointing  to  a  person,  thus  indicating  that  the  person  in 
question  is  a  ghost- whistler,  a  hair- pulling  is  sure  to  follow.  A  man  will  often 
start  a  fight  thus  if  he  wants  a  lock  of  hair  for  a  'soul-protector.'  Of  course 
he  runs  the  risk  of  losing  a  lock  and  being  otherwise  damaged. 

I  suppose  you  would  call  the  turtle  from  which  the  rattles  are  made  a 
terrapin.  That  is  what  it  really  is,  the  mud  terrapin  or  tortoise  ( Cinostemum 
pennsylvanicuni).  It  must  not  be  confused  with  the  Cinostemum  odorattim, 
though  it  too  has  a  musky  odour.  It  is  found  only  in  America  and  we  call  it 
the  'mud-turtle.' 

A  man  paints  on  his  drum  a  bit  of  family  history— his  own  or  an  ancestor's. 

He  decorates  his  turtle-rattle  as  he  does  his  scalp-lock,  but  he  does  not 
seem  to  have  any  superstitious  reason  for  it.  He  sells  the  rattle  with  the 
ornaments  on  it,  though  nothing  but  the  most  profound  trust  and  affection 
would  induce  him  to  part  with  his  scalp-lock  ornaments  to  his  friend. 

A  calf  s  hide  rattle  has  on  it  a  bit  of  ribbon  or  horse-hair  of  no  significance. 

A  lover  ornaments  his  flute  with  some  bit  of  finery  he  has  persuaded  his 
sweetheart's  little  brother  or  sister  to  steal  for  him. " 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         135 

70.  Dancer's  Hand  Eattle  of  Turtle-shell. 

This  is  of  great  antiquity,  and  fetish.  When  not  in  use 
it  was  not  kept  in  the  house  of  the  owner,  but  in  a  basket 
in  the  dance-house,  beside  the  great  drums.  Before  taking 
it  out  of  the  dance-house  a  blue  glass  bead  (an  imitation  of 
turquoise),  or  a  feather  of  the  golden-winged  woodpecker 
(Colaptes  auratus)  was  burned  in  its  honour  by  the  shaman. 
The  bead  or  feather  was  dropped  on  hot  embers  brought 
from  the  fire  outside  on  which  the  soup  was  prepared  for 
the  dancers.  It  was  thrown  on  as  the  owner  lifted  the 
rattle  from  the  basket.  Before  the  owner  began  to  dance, 
he  had  the  privilege  of  taking  the  rattle  into  his  wigwam 
for  a  few  moments. 

71.  Dancer's  Knee  Rattle  of  Turtle-shell. 

Treated  with  the  same  respect  as  the  hand  rattle  of 
turtle-shell.  Not  rendered  fetish  by  being  pow-wowed. 
Any  dancer  may  go  out  and  find  a  turtle,  make  a  rattle  of 
its  shell,  place  the  rattle  in  a  basket,  carry  it  to  the  dance- 
house,  and,  immediately  after,  if  he  chooses  to  take  it  out 
for  a  dance,  summon  the  shaman  to  burn  his  bead  or 

72.  Dancer's  Prayer  Drum. 

This  drum  or  tambourine  is  not  used  in  the  great 
Religion  dance.  A  man  takes  it  with  him  when  he  goes 
into  the  forest  to  pray  aloud.  He  keeps  time  on  it  with 
his  hands  as  he  intones  his  supplications.  He  also  carries 
it  in  the  Corn-Planting  dance  and  sings  a  song  to  its 
accompaniment  as  he  marches  round  the  field.  When  not 
in  use,  he  hides  it  in  his  wigwam. 

73.  Young  Man's  Courting  Flute. 

When  a  young  man  has  obtained  the  privilege  of  paying 
his  addresses  to  a  girl,  he  serenades  her  with  this  instru 
ment,  all  night,  for  three  or  four  months. 

136      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

74.  Whistle  to  call  Ghosts.     (Plate  VIII.,  fig.  74.) 

This  is  an  instrument  accursed.  In  former  times  any 
man  or  woman  found  possessing  one  was  burned  at  the 
stake.  Whistling  with  the  lips  is  dangerous  and  unlawful, 
for  it  might  attract  the  attention  of  a  wandering  ghost,  but 
whistling  with  this  instrument  is  a  shocking  crime.  Ac 
cording  to  Musquakie  belief,  it  summons  myriads  of  ghosts 
to  dance  and  make  bad  medicine.  If  a  name  is  mentioned 
directly  after  the  whistling  the  one  who  bears  it  will  die 
before  the  year  is  out.  If  no  name  is  mentioned,  the  tribe 
will  be  visited  with  pestilence  and  plagues  of  all  sorts. 
The  possessor  of  a  whistle  is  sure  to  be  beaten  if  found  out. 

The  whistle  is  made  of  wood  and  is  175  mm.  in  length,  a  leathern 
string  is  tied  on  to  it. 


75.  Shaman's  Medicine  Horn.     (Plate  VIII.,  fig.  75.) 

Every  shaman  has  one  or  two  nicely  scraped  and 
polished  horns,  which  he  wears  at  his  belt.  The  old  ones, 
like  this,  are  buffalo  horns ;  the  new  ones  are  of  the 
bulls  of  the  barnyard  and  range-cattle.  Usually,  the 
horns  are  kept  full  of  a  variety  of  bitter  herbs,  from  which 
on  occasion  the  shaman  brews  himself  nauseous  draughts. 
When  the  potions  have  been  prepared  in  another  vessel, 
they  are  poured  into  the  horn  and  drunk  from  it.  He 
takes  a  hornful  before  he  begins  to  pow-wow,  or  prophesy, 
dances,  or  rather,  whirls  for  a  few  seconds,  goes  into  the 
sweat-lodge  and  pours  another  hornful  on  a  hot  stone, 
inhales  the  fumes  and  then  goes  at  his  work,  whatever 
it  is.  The  combined  effect  of  the  two  hornfuls  is  supposed 
to  give  him  great  powers  of  divination  and  healing.  A 
plaited  loop  of  black  and  white  horse-hair,  which  ends  in  a 
long  tuft,  is  attached  to  the  horn. 

76.  Shaman's  Wand.     (Plate  VIII.,  fig.  76.) 

A  power  that  was.  The  shaman  used  to  carry  it  into 
battle,  where  it  not  only  helped  the  Musquakies  to  fight, 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          137 

but  also  raised  their  dead.  The  scalp-locks  were  cut 
from  the  heads  of  shamans  who  had  assisted  their  enemies. 
The  skin  in  the  middle  is  a  bear-scalp,  the  "  medicine " 
that  brought  the  dead  to  life ;  as  the  bear  is  a  great 
healer,  and  his  strength  is  in  his  scalp. 

This  specimen  consists  of  a  rough  stick  980  mm.  in  length  with  the 
bark  on.  Near  the  upper  end  is  a  disk,  80  mm.  in  diameter,  covered 
on  one  side  with  red  flannel  and  edged  with  white  beads  ;  fastened  on 
it  is  a  disk  of  red  flannel  about  50  mm.  in  diameter,  edged  with  brown 
feathers  ;  the  disk  has  a  dark  border  and  is  decorated  with  an  equal- 
armed  cross  of  translucent  and  green  beads,  at  the  end  of  each  of  the 
four  arms  of  the  cross  is  a  brass  bead.  Fastened  to  the  stick  below 
this  are  two  leather  strings,  each  bearing  two  white  beads  and  a 
terminal  claw. 

Near  the  centre  of  the  stick  is  a  shield  of  red  flannel,  240  mm.  long 
and  1 10  mm.  broad,  it  has  a  rounded  upper  end,  the  sides  are  roughly 
parallel  to  one  another,  and  the  lower  end  is  produced  into  two  equal 
scallops  ;  it  is  bound  round  with  white  beads.  A  semicircular  piece 
of  skin  is  fastened  to  the  upper  portion  of  the  shield,  to  this 
three  tassels  of  coloured  ribbons  and  one  brass  bead  are  fastened. 
Below  the  skin  is  a  row  of  four  (originally  six)  brass  beads  ;  below 
this,  two  rolls  of  white  and  red  beads  ;  these  are  followed  by  a  long 
spiral  of  brass  wire  ;  below  this  are  two  rows  of  blue  and  white  beads, 
separated  by  a  row  of  six  brass  beads.  Each  of  the  four  beaded  rolls 
or  bands  consists  of  a  central  broad  band  of  white  beads  with  two 
coloured  and  two  white  narrower  bands  on  each  side.  Below  the 
lowermost  band  of  beads  are  six  triangles  of  white  beads  and  six  brass 
beads,  followed  by  another  spiral  of  brass  wire  ;  in  each  terminal 
scallop  are  three  brass  beads.  A  piece  of  skin  with  white  fur  passes 
through  and  projects  beyond  the  ends  of  each  brass  spiral  tube.  On 
each  side  of  the  shield  is  a  strip  of  skin,  with  white  fur  bound  round 
its  middle  with  red  flannel,  which  is  bound  round  with  coloured  beads  ; 
below  the  beads  the  skin  is  cut  into  three  narrow  strips.  Above  the 
shield  are  three  long  tassels  of  black  and  dark  brown  hair  the  upper 
part  of  each  of  which  is  bound  round  with  cloth  and  beads. 

Below  the  shield  is  a  small  disk  of  leather,  43  mm.  in  diameter, 
bordered  with  turquoise  blue  beads.  The  surface  of  the  disk  is 
covered  with  a  continuous  spiral  of  beads  composed  of  an  outer  circle 
of  dark  blue  and  two  concentric  circles  each  of  pink  and  turquoise 
blue.  There  is  a  central  brass  bead. 

The  two  disks  and  the  shield  are  tied  on  the  stick  with  leathern  strings. 

138       Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

77.  Shaman's  Pouch,  of  Mink-skin,  with  Sacred  Feathers. 
No    account   given    of  this    object.      It   appears   to  be 

fetish,  for  when  the  shaman  put  it  on,  the  squaws  con 
fessed  that  they  were  afraid.  He  wore  it  at  the  great 
council,  and  sold  it  when  the  council  was  over.  It  had 
in  it,  when  he  parted  with  it,  nothing  but  a  piece  of 
otter  fur.  Everyone  was  surprised  when  he  parted  with 
it,  as  it  was  very  old  and  had  been  used  many  times. 

78.  Peace-pipe,  of  Catlinite,  with  Carved  and  Twisted  Stem. 

" Lati-no-way-watch-o-nee-tar"  the  Musquakies  call  it, 
"  the  blessed,  or  beloved,  pipe."  This  one  belonged  to 
the  whole  tribe,  not  to  a  clan.  It  was  smoked  by  the 
head-chief's  council  and  those  with  whom  they  had  just 
concluded  a  peace.  The  bowl  is  catlinite,  a  red  pipe-stone 
named  after  George  Catlin,  the  artist  and  student  of 
Indian  life.  There  is  but  one  mine  of  this  stone.  It 
is  in  Pipestone  County,  Minnesota ;  and  thither  all  Indians 
must  resort  for  the  stone  from  which  they  manufacture 
ceremonial  pipes  and  cups.  The  stem  of  this  lau-no-way 
is  of  hickory,  shaped  and  twisted  by  the  agency  of  knives, 
fire  and  water.  The  wood  was  soaked  till  it  was  pliable, 
then  twisted  by  the  application  of  fire  in  pith.  Last  of 
all,  it  was  smoothed  and  cut  by  the  knife.  The  trimming 
is  not  quills  but  coloured  grass,  and  was  the  only  work 
done  by  a  squaw.  The  pipe  was  used  once  by  a  drunken 
chief ;  if  it  had  not  been,  it  would  not  have  been  sold. 

79.  Tomahawk  or  War-Pipe  (Etha-way-na-lau-no-way}. 
Bowl    and    stem   of  catlinite.     Used    in    the  ceremony, 

"  Burying  the  hatchet,"  which  is  now  only  an  historical 
drama  to  illustrate  what  the  tribal  historian  relates.  As 
he  tells  of  the  burial  of  the  hatchet  after  a  peace  was 
cemented  by  a  peace-smoke  and  the  interchange  of 
wampum,  the  young  men  take  the  hatchet-pipe  from 
his  hands  and  go  away  as  if  to  bury  it.  Formerly,  it 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadisoork.         139 

was  buried,  to  be  dug  up  privately  next  day,  but  now 
it  is  merely  hidden  in  the  wigwam  where  it  is  kept.  Once, 
the  digging  up  and  smoking  of  the  war-hatchet  were 
impressive  ceremonies,  but  they  are  now  forbidden  by 
the  chiefs.  Of  old,  when  the  tribe  was  ready  for  war 
every  warrior  of  the  tribe,  and  every  ally,  stripped  to 
the  skin,  painted  himself  black,  and  stood  near  the  war- 
chief  while  he  dug  up  the  hatchet,  filled  it  with  killikinnick, 
and  lighted  it  at  the  head-chief's  council-fire ;  and  then, 
beginning  with  the  head-chief  himself,  all  smoked  in  turn 
and  raised  the  war-cry.  While  the  warriors  remained  on 
the  war-path,  the  war-pipe  was  kept  in  the  dance-house 
watched  over  by  the  old  men.  When  the  tribe  was  fleeing 
before  its  enemies,  an  old  man  of  the  chief's  council 
carried  it. 

80.  Bow,  Arrows,  and  Quiver. 

Used  only  by  the  historian,  who  aims,  as  he  recounts 
the  deeds  of  a  hero,  sometimes  at  a  mark,  sometimes 
at  an  animal.  The  arrows  would  be  more  satisfactory 
if  they  were  tipped  with  stone,  but  the  bow  could  not 
be  better.  It  is  of  bois  d'arc,  wrapped  with  deer-sinew 
and  with  a  well-twisted  sinew-cord.  The  quiver  is  of 
good  buckskin  and  was  the  only  one  left  in  the  tribe. 

81.  Bow  and  Arrows. 

These,  once  the  property  of  a  famous  prophet  and 
medicine-man,  were  used  in  the  last  battles  against  the 
whites.  The  shaman  claimed  that  the  arrows  knew  his 
voice  and  the  singing  of  their  own  bow,  and  returned 
to  his  hand  when  he  spoke,  and  fitted  themselves  to  the 
cord.  The  exhibition  of  them  at  the  council  was  forbidden 
by  the  chiefs,  as  it  was  likely  to  inflame  the  minds  of 
the  young  men,  and  cause  them  to  wage  disastrous 
warfare  with  their  neighbours. 

140      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

82.  Man's  Club. 

Used  by  the  historian  to  illustrate  the  old  manner  of 

83.  Woman's  Club. 

Used  by  the  women  in  their  societies  to  illustrate  what 
was  of  old  a  woman's  work  on  the  battlefield,  which 
was  to  brain  the  wounded  before  a  retreat,  so  as  to  prevent 
their  being  tortured  by  the  enemy,  and  to  break  the 
limbs  of  the  wounded  enemy,  if  they  were  victorious. 
Sometimes  also,  they  disfigured  the  dead  with  clubs  as 
well  as  knives,  so  that  if  those  who  scalped  them  took 
them  into  the  spirit-land  as  slaves,  they  would  have  the 
additional  misfortune  to  be  disfigured  there. 

84.  Whip  or  Quirt. 

Once  a  ceremonial  object.  It  was  used  to  give  the 
children  the  one  flogging  of  their  lives  to  test  their 
endurance  before  the  puberty  feast.  Now,  floggings  are 
discontinued,  and  the  whip  has  gone  out  of  fashion. 

85.  Woman's  Cloth  Prayer-mat. 

The  honourable  women,  the  women  who  are  the 
mothers  of  healthy  sons  or,  failing  that,  have  conferred 
some  other  great  benefit  on  the  tribe,  are  entitled  to  a 
seat  on  the  ground  near  the  council  fire,  and  between 
the  rows  of  dancers  when  a  Religion  dance  is  in  progress. 
Some  meekly  sit  in  the  dust,  but  the  greater  number 
make  for  themselves  mats  of  cloth  or  grass.  A  woman 
who  wishes  to  be  considered  exclusive  has  a  small  one, 
while  a  matron  who  courts  popularity  has  one  on  which 
a  half-dozen  or  more  of  her  friends  can  sit  with  her. 
When  one  wishes  to  add  her  own  prayers  to  those  for 
which  she  has  paid  the  shaman,  she  takes  her  mat  to  the 
woods,  and  sits  or  stands  upon  it  while  she  entreats  the 
aid  of  her  totem  or  the  Manito-ah.  When  her  sons  and 

Catalogiie  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.         141 

husband  lay  wagers  on  the  ball-game  or  horse-race,  they 
borrow  her  cloth  mat  and  use  it  as  a  betting  blanket, 
that  is,  a  cloth  on  which  are  piled  the  sums  or  objects 

86.  Woman's  Grass  Prayer-mat. 

This  may  not  be  used  as  a  betting  blanket ;  other 
wise,  it  serves  the  purposes  of  its  owner,  as  does  the  cloth 
one.  Very  few  women  can  weave  a  close,  smooth  grass 
mat,  though  many  make  the  attempt  when  first  married, 
for  a  bridegroom's  first  gift  to  his  bride  is  the  bone 
needle,  of  his  own  manufacture,  which  is  used  to  push 
the  grass  in  and  out  of  the  warp  of  twine  or  strips  of 
the  inner  bark  of  the  elm.  He  has  no  loom  for  her,  he 
merely  cuts  her  two  poles  which  she  lays  on  the  ground 
at  a  distance  apart,  which  measures  the  length  of  her 
mat,  and  to  them  attaches  the  ends  of  her  twine  or 

87.  Dancer's  Cup. 

It  is  not  a  dancer's  cup,  though  it  is  so  called  ;  it  is 
the  cup  in  which  he  is  given  soup  while  he  is  dancing. 
There  are  but  few  of  these  catlinite  cups  in  the  tribe, 
and  they  are  owned  by  old  women.  As  there  are  not 
enough  of  them  to  serve  every  one,  only  the  most 
distinguished  dancers  receive  them ;  the  rest  have  to 
be  content  with  gourds  and  tin  cups.  The  women 
never  drink  from  a  dancer's  cup. 

88.  Dancer's  Spoon. 

The  leader  of  the  dance  has  a  right  to  the  choicest 
morsels  of  the  meat  and  vegetables  taken  from  the 
bottom  of  the  soup-pot.  These  morsels  are  offered  in 
a  wooden  bowl,  and  he  helps  himself  from  it  with  a 
wooden  spoon  which  is  given  him  by  the  old  man  who 
has  made  it,  or  had  it  given  to  him  when  he  was  a 

142       Folk-Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

dancer.  The  older  the  spoon  the  more  of  an  honour 
it  is  to  receive  it.  It  is  an  utensil  that  conduces  to 
awkwardness ;  for,  ordinarily,  your  Musquakie  picks  up 
his  meat  in  his  fingers. 

89.  Dancer's  Wooden  Bowl. 

Used  for  the  meat  and  vegetables  in  the  bottom  of 
the  soup-pot  when  the  honourable  women  are  feeding  the 
dancers.  Owned  by  the  tribe,  manufactured  by  a  man, 
taken  care  of  by  the  honourable  women  ;  it  is  never  used 
at  a  private  feast,  nor  eaten  from  by  a  woman. 

90.  Stone  Axe  for  killing  White  Dog. 

For  ordinary  work  a  Musquakie  squaw  employs  the 
steel  axe  of  the  white  man,  but  for  ceremonials  the  stone 
implement  of  her  forefathers  must  be  used.  If  the  dog 
of  sacrifice  were  killed  by  the  axe  of  civilization,  the 
sacrifice  would  be  wasted  or  turned  against  the  giver  of 
it.  The  dog  is  struck  on  the  back  of  the  head  and  the 
axe  at  once  put  out  of  sight. 

91.  Parfleche  of  Painted  Buffalo  Hide. 

Supposed  by  the  old  people  to  have  been  sent  from 
the  Manito-ah,  at  the  time  of  famine,  full  of  buffalo  meat. 
A  young  man  of  exemplary  piety  was  so  moved  by  the 
sufferings  of  his  people  that  he  prayed  until  he  fell  down 
in  a  swoon.  When  he  recovered  consciousness  he  found 
himself  in  the  presence  of  the  Manito-ah  and  the  totems, 
who  fed  him  and  then  sent  him  back  to  earth  on  a  great 
bird,  with  the  parfleche  full  of  meat  in  his  arms.  When 
the  meat  had  fed  all  the  tribe,  the  parfleche  was,  according 
to  the  instructions  given  by  the  totems,  set  out  of  doors 
and  left  over  night.  In  the  morning  all  sorts  of  game 
had  collected  round  it,  and  the  hunters  killed  enough 
to  last  the  rest  of  the  winter.  For  a  long  time  the  par 
fleche  held  a  dancer's  costume,  but  it  was  finally  sold 
by  a  poor  widow  who  had  no  sons  to  care  for  it. 

Catalogue  of  Musqitakie  Beadwork.         143 

92.  Pestle  and  Mortar. 

These  two  rough  pieces  of  wood  the  Indians  call  a 
mill,  and  with  them  make  the  sacred  meal.  Formerly, 
all  the  meal,  whether  made  from  maize,  beans,  or  acorns, 
was  pounded  in  this  primitive  mortar.  But,  for  a  long 
time,  it  has  been  the  custom  of  the  Musquakies  to  buy 
flour  and  meal  from  the  white  people  for  ordinary  con 
sumption  ;  so  now  the  mill  has  become  a  ceremonial 
object,  only  brought  out  before  a  dance  feast  or  funeral 
feast  to  prepare  the  maize,  nuts,  and  cherries  in  the 
old  way. 

93.  Woman's  Bone  Needle. 

A  woman's  first  present  from  her  bridegroom.  She 
uses  it  when  she  makes  her  grass  prayer-mat. 

94.  Needle-case  and  Quills. 

The  needle-case  is  of  buffalo-intestine.  The  porcupine 
quills  are  both  needles  and  thread  to  the  embroiderer 
as  she  presses  them  into  the  buckskin  she  is  adorning. 
Quills  are  scarce,  and  very  few  squaws  know  how  to 
dye  them  without  spoiling  them,  and  fewer  still  embroider 
with  them,  nearly  everyone  preferring  beads  and  ribbons. 

95.  Pin-case  and  Thorns. 

The  squaws  as  a  rule  are  more  ready  to  adopt  new 
fashions  than  the  men  ;  but  one  old  fashion  they  cling 
to,  while  the  men  do  not — the  fashion  of  using  the 
thorns  of  the  honey-locust  (Gleditschia  triacanthos)  instead 
of  the  brass  pins  of  civilization. 

96.  Woman's  Loom  for  Beadwork. 

There  is  nothing  remarkable  about  this  simple  little 
machine,  excepting  that  the  holes  for  the  threads  are 
burned  instead  of  bored  or  cut.  When  a  squaw  is  asked 
"  why,"  she  answers  "  must  be,"  and  not  another  word 
can  she  be  made  to  say.  When  her  husband  does  not 

144      Folk-Lore  of  the  Musqiiakie  Indians. 

make  one  for  her,  she  takes  a  straight  piece  of  bark 
and  makes  holes  in  it  with  a  fish  bone  or  needle,  and 
this  seems  to  keep  her  threads  in  place  as  well  as  the 
other.  When  asked  why  she  does  not  burn  holes  in 
the  bark,  she  shakes  her  head  and  smiles. 

97.  Awl-case. 

Every  Musquakie  has  an  awl  which  he  or  she  puts 
to  use  as  a  white  neighbour  would  both  awl  and  needle, 
that  is,  if  one  used  needle  and  thread  separately.  But, 
more  than  this,  the  awl  is  fetish.  It  must  have  a  pretty 
case,  and  be  kept  in  it  for  hours  of  repose  as  if  it  were 
a  living  workman.  The  woman  makes  the  case,  saying 
many  sing-song  prayers  as  she  works  at  it. 

98.  Baby-carrier. 

An  extremely  convenient  cradle.  When  the  papoose 
is  securely  fastened  into  it,  he  can  be  borne  on  his 
mother's  back  as  she  goes  about  her  daily  toil,  or  he 
can  be  stood  up  against  the  wigwam  wall,  or  slung  from 
the  wigwam  poles  or  the  branches  of  a  tree  for  his 
mother  to  rock,  by  moving  a  string  fastened  to  her  wrist 
or  foot.  Often  toys  and  fetishes  are  fastened  to  the 
front  of  it ;  and,  no  matter  how  simple  they  are,  they 
will  keep  him  amiably  staring  by  the  hour.  The  father 
and  mother  both  work  on  the  carrier.  He  makes  the 
woodwork ;  she  does  what  sewing  is  necessary. 

99.  Herb-basket. 

Made  of  the  inner  bark  of  the  hickory,  and  painted 
(unfortunately)  with  the  ugly  pigments  of  the  white 
trader ;  the  old  dyes  the  squaws  extracted  from  roots 
and  berries  were  beautiful.  Used  by  the  honourable 
women  to  hold  simples. 

100.  Saddle. 

Sometimes  used  by  squaws. 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          145 

101.  Child's  Toy  Turtle. 
Both  plaything  and  fetish. 

102.  Child's  Doll. 

Plaything  and  fetish,  or,  perhaps,  victim.  Disease 
may  be  drawn  from  the  child  to  the  doll,  as  the  child 
plays  with  it, 

103.  Child's  Bow  and  Arrows. 

All  the  little  boys,  and  many  of  the  little  girls,  are 
skilful  archers.  They  use  the  sharp  arrows  to  kill 
rabbits  and  squirrels  ;  the  blunt  one  to  break  the  necks 
of  birds  and  field-mice. 

104.  Bat. 

For    a   crame   similar   to    la   crosse.     It   is    not   fetish  : 


nevertheless  fire  and  water  must  be  employed  for  its 
manufacture.  The  wood  is  rendered  pliable  by  being 
soaked  in  running  water ;  the  holes  are  made  by  fire. 
The  ball  is  a  common  rubber  one  bought  from  the 
white  trader. 

105.  Shaman's  Bat. 

While  the  game  is  in  progress  a  shaman  stands  at 
either  end  of  the  ball-ground,  each  with  a  very  long- 
handled  bat,  which  he  holds  high  while  he  whirls  round 
and  round,  praying  for  the  success  of  his  side.  The 
successful  players  receive  no  credit ;  it  all  goes  to  the 
shaman.  The  shaman  whose  side  loses  gets  no  pay. 
The  bat  is  generally  a  very  old  one,  "handed  down" 
from  its  owner's  teacher  and  predecessor.  He  "  makes 
medicine"  over  it,  in  the  sweat-lodge,  before  each  game. 

106.  Shaman's  Prayer-mat  of  Buffalo-hide. 

A  poor  specimen,  but  the  only  one  that  could  be 
obtained.  The  shaman  stands  on  his  mat  and  prays 

146      Folk- Lore  of  the  Musquakie  Indians. 

before  and  after  the  Buffalo  dance.  As  he  continually 
stamps  and  whirls,  he  soon  wears  out  a  mat  ;  and  as 
"  buffalo-robes "  are  scarce  and  dear,  his  followers  have 
trouble  in  keeping  him  supplied. 

107.  Photographs. 

Evidences  of  a  new  fashion  and  a  change  of  opinion 
on  the  part  of  the  Musquakies.  A  few  years  ago  not 
one  of  them  would  have  dared  to  have  his  picture  taken, 
lest  it  fall  into  the  hands  of  an  enemy,  who,  injuring 
the  picture,  would  thereby  injure  the  original. 

108.  Model  of  Summer  Tent. 

Very  good  as  to  shape,  but  misleading  as  to  material. 
The  cone-shaped  summer  or  travelling  tent  has  hickory 
poles,  and  a  covering  of  cowskins  sewed  together.  Its 
shape  proclaims  that  it  is  a  temporary  convenience,  the 
permanent  wigwam  for  summer  or  winter  being  mound- 

109.  Divorce  Sticks. 

When  a  husband  and  wife  have  agreed  to  disagree 
publicly  and  permanently,  they  go  hand  in  hand,  the 
morning  after  the  head-chief's  council  fire  is  lighted,  to 
the  members  of  the  council,  and  the  one  who  first 
suggested  "parting"  asks  for  a  divorce.  To  the  one 
asking,  a  councillor  hands  from  a  bundle  he  keeps  ready 
for  the  purpose  a  dry  twig.  The  one  receiving  it  hands 
it  to  the  unsatisfactory  mate,  who  should  break  it  and 
drop  the  fragments  on  the  ground.  Occasionally  the  Old 
Adam  gets  the  better  of  etiquette,  and  Mr.  Musquakie 
(it  is  almost  always  that  the  woman  applies  for  the 
divorce,  few  men  being  willing  to  give  up  their  minor 
children)  so  far  forgets  his  dignity  as  to  fling  the  bits 
of  stick  in  madam's  face.  When  the  stick  is  broken, 
both  the  man  and  the  woman  are  free  to  marry  at  once, 

Catalogue  of  Musquakie  Beadwork.          147 

and  sometimes  do  so.  No  one  loses  caste  by  reason  of 
a  divorce,  but  there  is  no  flute  playing,  no  long  courtship 
for  a  divorced  woman  or  a  widow.  If  a  divorced  man 
marries  a  girl,  he  must  pay  his  court  to  her  as  a  bachelor 

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14  DAY  USE 



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Renewed  books  are  subject  to  immediate  recall. 

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